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The Hard ROI of BYOD

digital transformation

Today, there is more pressure than ever for enterprises to embrace mobility and develop agile BYOD strategies. And with Forrester reporting that 70 percent of North American and European enterprises were offering increased mobile support in 2014, it’s clear that BYOD is not a passing trend. But are businesses actually saving time or money by adopting BYOD or are they just over-complicating things?

Many enterprises have traditionally turned to BYOD in an effort to reduce complexity and cut costs. However, actually calculating these savings is quite difficult, as most “current costs” used in a typical analysis do not take into account all of the factors at play.

Instead, IT and business leaders looking to estimate BYOD costs must evaluate the costs of the users actually likely to migrate—which still leaves room for error—and develop pools of users by geographies, roles, and levels. This process enables a closer estimate of actual BYOD costs, but it is still difficult to develop more concrete numbers because predicting future use and activities remains an inexact science.

Additionally, most models project retained costs using the same averages as the current cost. However, this is rarely the case because:

  • Low end/low cost users are the most likely to migrate to BYOD, and leverage help desk services
  • Retained high end users require access to sensitive data, thus requiring increased levels of trust through the security stack and highly responsive help desk services which can reduce spend optimization
  • The subsidization benefit is lost in pooled environments

The complexities of global enterprise mobile environments and the needs of their users make it difficult to calculate the true ROI of BYOD. But, there are four steps you can follow to get a clearer picture of BYOD costs:

  1. Understand your employees. First, it’s important to understand how they are using mobile devices. Ask whether BYOD is truly valuable and cost effective from a lifecycle perspective, to your particular business.
  2. Consider other reasons to retain some users in a Corporate Liable (CL) model. For example, there may be regulatory challenges with moving users to BYOD. When determining which users, and how many users, to move to BYOD, look into whether reliability and supportability of the device is critical.
  3. Determine the most financially-efficient way to source. If you’re not sure whether BYOD is right for a particular employee, they should probably be retained in a CL model. It’s also important to re-examine whether you need stipends at all.
  4. Consider other strategic costs. Beyond the basic costs of BYOD implementation, there are other strategic costs to keep in mind. For example, BYOD can be difficult to manage and can complicate your application development pipeline globally managing multiple liability models, device OS and app enablement across your estate

You can calculate the cost and ROI of BYOD, but as you can see, it takes a dedicated, rigorous evaluation process. I hope you will find these steps useful in determining if BYOD makes sense for your organization, but should you need additional support, make sure to take a look at our research report on balancing the costs, risks and benefits of BYOD.