Do companies really save money with BYOD plans?

Do companies really save money with BYOD plans?
BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is the program that some companies have put in place that allows employees to bring their own personally owned smartphones to work instead of relying on company distributed models. The idea is that employees will be more productive with smartphones that they are familiar with instead of being forced by their employer to use an unfamiliar OS.

According to a  report issued by networking firm Cisco, switching to a BYOD program could save employers $3150 a year per worker. Part of the cost savings is pushed of to the employees who will pay $965 on average for their devices and $735 for the necessary data plans. The rest has to do with the aforementioned productivity hike.

Cisco polled 2145 workers in 6 countries to see how much time was saved when an employer brought his or her own smartphone to work. Time saved ranged from 4 minutes in Germany to 81 minutes in the U.S. The dollar savings was as low as $75 for a German employee making $45,000 a year, to $1,518 for a similarly paid American worker. BYOD usually ends up providing very little in the way of reimbursements to employees. Gartner says only 50% of companies cover some of the cost of a personal device used for business while only 2% cover the total cost of a personal device used by a corporate employee.

But not everyone is so keen on BYOD. IT directors are worried about costs to secure and improve the company network while an April report from Nucleus Research said, "The challenges of BYOD can increase the other 90 percent of spending to the point where BYOD will actually increase overall costs without providing tangible benefits." The Aberdeen Group made an interesting point when they said that BYOD could actually increase the telecommunication costs for a company because with employees taking care of their own phones, the company can lose the volume discounts they were receiving when they were purchasing devices and service from the same firm. A company with 1000 BYOD employees can pay up to $170,000 more per year.

Intel employees using the comnpany's BYOD program say they save 57 minutes a day in productivity savings. With 23,500 employees and a .5 productivity factor, that would work out to $700 million gained each year from BYOD, a claim that is hard to prove. Which really is true for those on either side of the coin. Further study will be needed to determine if the BYOD trend is actually saving companies or employees money. Right now though, Cisco tells us that 89% of companies allow employees to bring their own device to work with a median value to each firm of $350 per employee. The number of BYOD devices will more than double from 198 million this year to 405 million employed in 2016.



source: Cisco (1), (2) via Forbes

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