Use BYOD to boost productivity not save money – Vodafone


Operator says the cost to enterprises of implementing a BYOD strategy often offsets the savings made from not buying devices for staff.

Vodafone on Thursday advised enterprises that implementing a comprehensive BYOD strategy might prove to be equally expensive as supplying staff with devices.

That does not mean companies should abandon bring-your-own-device (BYOD), or worse still, actively prevent employees from using their own smartphones and tablets; rather they need to be mindful of the cost of rolling out efficient systems and policies.

That was the message from Vodafone at a presentation during CommunicAsia on Thursday. Citing a survey conducted by Ovum, Alex Connors, head of international product management at Vodafone Global Enterprise, said 60% of Asia-Pacific enterprises identify cost savings as a key driver of BYOD.

However, “quite often BYOD policies don’t save you money,” he said, noting that the cost of buying staff handsets is replaced by the cost of rolling out enterprise apps, mobile device management, and tech support.

Some companies have taken to subsidising the cost of a new handset, encouraging employees to buy certain devices by tweaking the volume of subsidy they are prepared to offer on a particular model.

Enterprises that adopt this tactic need to be mindful about how they reimburse staff, said Connors.

“Say you want to pay your employees $45 per month…if you do that on their paycheque it will be taxed, so you’d need to add an extra $20 to $30 to get up to that $45,” he explained. “This can destroy the savings” a company has set out to achieve with their BYOD programme.

BYOD policies that are easily understood and that do not prevent employees using the apps they want to use on their own time, are crucial, said Connors, and so is ensuring senior executives can use their own devices.

“If your C-level employees are struggling then the IT department is really going to know about it,” he warned.