Taming BYOD costs

by david.nunes
Christophe CulineIssue:North America 2013
Article no.:9
Topic:Taming BYOD costs
Author:Christophe Culine
Title:Senior Vice-President & General Manager
Organisation:iPass Enterprise
PDF size:270KB

About author

Christophe Culine, is the Senior Vice-President and General Manager at iPass Enterprise; he oversees the global enterprise sales teams at iPass. Mr Culine has two decades of experience in global sales and business development. Before joining iPass, Mr Culine was Senior Vice President of Sales for Iron Mountain, where he led the sales force for Iron Mountain Digital. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of worldwide sales at Mimosa, a company acquired by Iron Mountain. He has also held sales leadership positions at Mirapoint, Fortinet, Qualys and Network Computing Devices (NCD) in Europe and North America. Culine also brings a strong knowledge of enterprise mobility and growth having led the early sales initiatives and growth at GoRemote (GRIC) – a company acquired by iPass.
Christophe Culine has a MBA from Polytech Lille (EUDIL) in France.

Article abstract

The biggest challenge for BYOD (bring your own device), indeed for the entire mobile work phenomenon, is to manage all these devices, keep costs low and productivity and security high. BYON (bring your own network) strategies can help to effectively manage and secure personal devices whilst avoiding high network usage charges. Mobile carriers with BYON packages facilitate seamless access to critical data and applications, at a fraction of the cost, by using WiFi as a complement to cellular data plans.

Full Article

The rise of the device
The BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon is sweeping the enterprise faster than many businesses could have ever anticipated. Forrester’s 2012 Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey shows that more than two-thirds of North American information workers (i.e., workers who use a computer for work an hour or more per day) personally choose the smartphones or tablets they use for work. In addition, more and more workers are abandoning their corporate work-issued desktop PCs, laptops and smartphones in favour of using their own sexier, consumer devices, with 46 per cent of US information workers personally choosing work laptops that are not on the company- approved device list. Beyond device aesthetics, BYOD employees find they are generally able to work more easily on devices with which they are familiar and comfortable.
With BYOD mobile employees working more productively and for longer hours – on average up to an additional 20 hours per week. Despite the undeniable benefits, few enterprises fully appreciate the host of serious concerns BYOD raises with regard to the day-to-day running of their business.
Among the most prevalent concerns are increased connectivity costs, data security threats, and device management issues. With this new working paradigm it is critical for IT departments implement a BYOD strategy that ensures their mobile employees are working cost effectively and safely. Behind the scenes, mobile carriers are also playing a role helping enterprises work affordably using cost-effective WiFi mobility solutions.
The BYOD puzzle
At present, few IT departments have incorporated personal device management initiatives into their business strategies for 2013. With so many devices entering the enterprise and so few coherent enterprise mobility strategies, many businesses are at risk. However, while in the past much of the discussion around risk has centred on security issues and the potential for data loss, the reality is that, beyond the security aspects of BYOD, IT has a strategic role to play supporting employee productivity and controlling costs.
Even if an IT department does not directly pay the costs of connectivity, and even if the cost of a data plans or WiFi day passes are buried in department budgets or expense reports, the increased use of personal devices exposes your organization to the risk of very high connectivity expenses. Many organizations already acknowledge. In fact, 68 per cent of US IT managers believe costs will rise in 2013 due to increased personal device usage.
When considering personal smartphones in a BYOD model, organizations need to remember that connectivity is essential for mobile workers’ productivity. The typical mobile employees are already using their devices for increasingly data hungry tasks, from simple web browsing to video-conferencing, and cloud based apps are increasingly bandwidth intensive.
In fact, each device is already generating 3.5 times more data traffic than in 2011. With 17million active 4G users in the USA, this growth is set to skyrocket. Mobile data obviously does not come free, so there is great potential for significant ‘bill shock’ when mobile employees work via 3G or 4G, and charge their company for their data roaming expenses.
Almost 43 per cent of mobile workers have admitted to experiencing serious data roaming bill shock; some employee’s bills can exceed US$1000! Data roaming, then, at a big company-wide can make a significant dent in a company’s communications budget. So it is critical that IT policy must include provisions for mobile cost control.
Once a policy is in place, the next step is ensuring that it is followed. US workers have willingly worked up to 20 extra hours per month when enabled by mobile working solutions. So it is clear that most employees will behave responsibly and act in the best interests of the organization when they are given the right conditions and tools. Most employees do not put corporate assets at risk or share confidential information; they genuinely want to be productive, even away from their desks, and they’re willing to go to great lengths to do so.
Today’s employees are resourceful and do whatever it takes to remain connected; 30 per cent report they have driven around to find a wireless hotspot and connect. Businesses must work to ensure that employees understand their policies, know how to act, and are provided with tools that lets them easily do so. Publishing your policy on an intranet and in your new employee handbook is only the first step; necessary but far from sufficient.
IT departments need mobility strategies that not only address management and security concerns, but one that also helps them to keep costs low. The best answer to these BYOD demands lies in letting mobile workers bring your own network (BYON) wherever they roam.
How can BYON provide a solution?
A bring your own network solution requires secure, fast and reliable WiFi connectivity. Workers should have access to a global network of dedicated, secure WiFi hotspots, which allows them to safely and cost-effectively work online, with a speedy connection, wherever they may be.
From a financial perspective, having access to a WiFi network of hotspots means that enterprises can utilize mobile employees more cost-effectively. Unlike with 3G or 4G, with a BYON package, WiFi data usage is unlimited, with a fixed and predictable cost. As a result, organizations no longer need be exposed to unpredictable, expensive, data roaming charges when workers go over their data allowances. In this way, BYON bridges the gap between a BYOD solution that focuses primarily on device management, and the mobility solutions that modern employees demand today.
With such a comprehensive solution, there are also numerous ‘behind the scenes’ benefits. IT departments can register or ‘onboard’ personal devices before allowing users to access the corporate infrastructure. This facilitates the management of device access policies from a central location, and lets IT staff identify each device and securely validate and control its network and data access privileges so that employees cannot jeopardise the security of corporate data
Mobile carriers and BYOD
WiFi access has gone from being an extra perk to an absolute necessity for a mobile workforce; it is clear that mobile carriers now hold a significant key to helping enterprise customers find a solution to the problem of BYOD costs. Mobile networks placed little emphasis on WiFi in the past; mobile operators considered WiFi more difficult to monetize than cellular data services such as 3G and 4G. However, high roaming bills could spur workers to sever ties with their mobile carrier, increase customer churn and a loss in revenues. Concerns about this, and other factors such as capacity shortfalls and legislative pricing caps, have led a number of mobile carries to take another look at WiFi and many now realise the value of incorporating WiFi alongside their cellular offerings.
Today, US mobile workers are typically within range of a WiFi network for 60 per cent of the day. With more and more hotspots installed daily, this figure will almost certainly grow to nearly 100 per cent in the future. With increasing numbers of WiFi hungry devices, such as new generations of tablets, being used on a daily basis within organizations, enterprise mobile data demands are expected to grow 150 per cent year-on-year. This means that providing a service that allows businesses to really get the most out of their devices will be a competitive differentiator for carriers. When users can bundle smartphones and tablets onto a single plan, it creates a valuable service for the multiple device-owning business traveller who requires easier access to low cost roaming plans.
The BYOD phenomenon is here to stay. The biggest challenge for IT is to understand how best to manage all these devices to keep costs low and productivity and security high. The good news is that there is a simple solution: an enterprise mobility strategy that incorporates BYON can help to effectively manage and secure personal devices whilst avoiding high network usage charges.
Businesses will be able to take advantage of the many benefits of BYOD, which include attracting and retaining top talent, increased worker productivity and greater employee satisfaction, as well as reduced IT headaches and lower costs. Mobile carriers who provision the enterprise with custom BYON packages are a key piece of this puzzle: having the power to keep mobile workers productive and efficient by facilitating seamless access to critical data and applications, at a fraction of the cost, on WiFi as a complement to cellular data plans. With all of these pieces in place, enterprise BYOD environments can truly thrive.


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