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IT Departments Win Big With BYOD Cost Savings

by Mark Adams, on December 15, 2014

Original article: http://midsizeinsider.com/en-us/article/it-departments-win-big-with-byod-cost-sa#.VI783orF99F

IT Departments Win Big With BYOD Cost Savings

When small and midsize businesses first began experimenting with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, one of the commonly cited reasons for implementation was helping IT departments reduce their budgets by spending less money on computers, phones and other devices for their employees. New Gartner research featured in Network World shows that IT departments of companies engaging in BYOD are seeing the benefits of the practice in real dollars and cents.

Purchasing Versus Supporting Devices

Purchasing smartphones for one or two employees may not bust the budgets of most SMBs, but purchasing and upgrading dozens of phones or providing multiple devices for individual employees could prove too expensive. Gartner determined that the bulk of BYOD cost savings comes from acquisition costs. "Also, savings are achieved when the organization does not reimburse or subsidize for voice and data plans," Network World says.

When an SMB encourages BYOD, employees are using devices they like and are accustomed to using. This lessens the need for IT departments to provide training and support. Because most people like to upgrade their devices to the newest models as soon as possible, IT departments do not have to worry about purchasing devices that may become obsolete before the next budget cycle.

Spreading the Savings

Gartner found that the money saved on BYOD expenses often is invested back into the network infrastructure, benefiting overall BYOD efforts. According to Network World, the survey results showed that "mobile device management (MDM), general infrastructure expansion, and file share and sync were the three major technology investments needed to support BYOD."

Watching for Hidden Costs

While there may be plenty of BYOD cost savings, smart IT professionals understand that the use of personally owned devices is not free of cost. Employees may expect to be reimbursed for data plans or software when using their own devices for business purposes. There are also costs associated with ensuring devices are compliant with industry regulations. This could require the business to provide secure connections or invest in cloud computing options. IT departments may also need to determine who is responsible for the maintenance of personally owned devices. Having a BYOD policy in place that addresses reimbursements, upgrades, security and similar issues can save the IT department cost-related headaches in the long run.

Happier Employees

One cost-savings benefit of BYOD does not show up in the IT expenditure column but is vital to overall business efficiency. Formal and informal surveys have repeatedly shown that when employees are able to use the devices of their choice, they are happier and more productive. Happy employees are more likely to stay with the company, cutting the costs of replacing and training new staff.

Within the next two years, virtually all SMBs are expected to institute some type of BYOD policy. In turn, BYOD cost savings could allow IT departments to focus their attention and dollars on improving their network's infrastructure and security.

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