BYOD costs ‘out of control’


Majority of IT directors fear BYOD costs will spiral out of control

Almost three quarters of IT directors are concerned that the growing popularity of bring your own device (BYOD) into the workplace could cause IT costs to 'spiral out of control.'

As employees source their own mobile devices, call and data plans, businesses risk losing their ability to leverage purchasing power through bulk buying, new research has shown. With employees charging mobile costs as an expense, organisations also risk losing control of their costs, with 73% of IT directors surveyed by research company Vanson Bourne for enterprise ICT solutions and services provider Damovo UK, concerned by the trend.

Furthermore, 69% of those surveyed expect any reduction in IT support costs to be 'non-existent'. Despite the belief that responsibility for maintaining devices will transfer to employees and their chosen service providers, the research highlights that IT departments still expect to be the first point of call when things go wrong.

'These concerns highlight the need for organisations to establish their policy on BYOD as a matter of priority,' said Glyn Owen, portfolio manager at Damovo UK. 'As an increasing variety of mobile costs are claimed against employee expenses it is inevitable that enterprise costs will rocket. The use of personal devices in the workplace continues to be driven by employees rather than a defined business strategy. Indeed, over two thirds (67%) of those IT directors surveyed admitted that supporting the CEO's latest toys is behind many current BYOD agendas.'

The survey revealed that more than a third (39%) of organisations still do not have published BYOD usage guidelines. Nearly three quarters (71%) admitted not having a corporate applications store in place for employees to download enterprise approved software and applications.

IT directors saw implementing new security measures (44%) as the biggest short term financial cost that organisations will incur through BYOD adoption. This was followed by providing IT and device support (26%) and improving network coverage (19%). Adding to financial demands, the vast majority (82%) of IT directors are also concerned that the time and effort required to deal with the additional level of complexity in configuring access privileges on an individual device basis will be a further burden on the business. The results suggest a need for improved mobile device management (MDM) processes, to establish centralised access privileges and on-boarding for mobile devices.

'All employees have a responsibility for maintaining compliance with corporate governance policies,' added Owen. 'Although they may not immediately realise it, employees could be introducing a potentially unacceptable business risk by bringing their own device. For example, businesses should consider the risks of mobile malware, as mobile applications have become the latest back door providing malicious parties with access to the corporate network.

'In a high profile case that recently came to light, fraudulent versions of popular mobile games like 'Angry Birds' were found to have racked up nearly £28,000 in premium rate calls, demonstrating the very real dangers of rogue apps. MDM systems can be a good line of defence against malicious software that could potentially make its way onto the corporate network; restricting employee downloads to software that has been developed or at least approved by the enterprise. It is concerning that less than a third of those taking part in the survey had such a facility in place.'


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