TECHNOLOGY

Study: ‘BYOD’ strategies are giving way to company-provided device models

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Workloads in the 21st century are increasingly mobile, however companies are redefining their device strategies — especially those related to “bring your own device” (BYOD) models.

Nearly 80% of survey respondents said employees cannot do their jobs effectively without a mobile phone, and three-quarters said mobile devices are essential to workflows, according to a study from Samsung Electronics America and Oxford Economics.

Companies that provide phones to some or all employees see measurable value in terms of productivity, ease of collaboration, and the ability to get the job done in a timely manner. BYOD respondents reported lower satisfaction rates with their mobile devices when used as work tools (69% vs. 78% or more for those at companies that provide devices to a significant portion of their workforce).

However, a mere 17% of organizations currently provide mobile phones to all employees. The remainder provided them to some employees (52%), or rely entirely on BYOD (31%). A growing number of companies with BYOD policies are paying some or all of their employees’ mobile service costs.

Most BYOD companies maintain device management programs to ensure data security and employee productivity. However, management overheads (including IT administrators, third-party service providers, and software licenses) can add between 25% and 40% of the overall cost of enterprise mobile programs, depending on company size and other factors, the study revealed.

Companies that prioritize the effectiveness of mobile workflows and applications are more likely to provide devices to all employees (65%); cost, security, and corporate culture are other motivations behind the device policy choice. However, many may not understand which mobile enablement strategy is best for their needs.

“When smartphones first began to show their potential as business tools, we saw a wave of organizations jump on board with BYOD policies, encouraged by the promise of cost savings and employee satisfaction,” said Eric McCarty, VP, mobile B2B product marketing, Samsung Electronics America.

“Now, with some time and understanding of the total long-term costs and complexities of the BYOD model, we are seeing the pendulum swing the other way,” McCarty said. “Not only are many organizations looking again at providing employees with work smartphones, those that do invest proactively are realizing tremendous value from greater device management, customization and enterprise applications.”

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