High-tech companies such as Cisco, VMware and Ingram Micro began mandating BYOD smartphones, and they're claiming huge cost savings. "I feel very comfortable saying that I will save seven figures this year," VMware CIO Mark Egan told me earlier this year.
But these cases just might be the exception, not the rule.
Last month, Nucleus Research predicted BYOD will decline in 2013, stating: "The reality is that the support costs, compliance risks, and usage reimbursement typically lead to a higher total cost of ownership with no discernible return on investment or productivity gains. As enterprise CFOs take a closer look at the true pros and cons of BYOD in 2013, they will seek to pursue the most fiscally responsible option: corporate-based accounts."
BYOD Hidden Costs Revealed
Adding up the cost of transitioning from corporate-owned smartphones to BYOD smartphones is messy business. In order to clear up some confusion, we've broken down a few hidden costs:
Transition costs: Make no mistake, the transition to BYOD is labor intensive. It's a good bet there are a lot of company-owned smartphones lying around. Employees will have to take over liability. This means they'll have to work closely with carriers, which aren't known for providing stellar customer service.
Companies might have to hire a consultancy to ease this transition before it leads to thousands of upset and unproductive employees.
"We average about 20 to 25 minutes per user to convert from a corporate-liable to an individual-liable line-and we're good at it," Brandon Hampton, a founding director of Mobi Wireless Management, a software and services provider advising Fortune 100 companies on wireless strategies, told CIO.com. "If you've got a few thousand users, you can do the math."
Subscription costs: In the corporate-issued smartphone scenario, a company can pool phone and plan purchases for a volume discount. An average-sized company can get the monthly wireless bill to around $50 per user. The best an individual employee can do in a similar plan would be $80. Under a BYOD scenario, this works out to $360 more per employee per year.
David Schofield, Network Sourcing Advisors