What is driving BYOD costs? 6 things to look for…

As a followup to our TEM in 2014: History and Trends webinar (available as a stream or a white paper), we’ll offer a series of posts covering telecom expense management – where it came from, where it’s going, and trends for the future.

BYOD: What is driving costs?

In our previous post on TEM Trend One – BYOD Boom or Bust, we covered the issue of whether BYOD is helping with costs or not.

It is worth discussing what is driving those costs higher, as it isn’t an easy answer.   There are six main things companies are seeing…

  1. More employees eligible for coverage. Used to just be C-level or sales. Back in the day, only your senior management and Road Warrior salespeople needed to be truly mobile.  Now it seems to be everyone.  With more staff to cover, costs go up instead of down, simple as that.
  2. Increase in cost per employee as they select expensive plans. One issue with BYOD is that it sometimes diffuses control.  When employees get a say in picking their minute or data plan, presume they won’t take the cheap one.
  3. International charges go up as employees don’t proactively manage roaming. This again speaks to the conflict of interest between employees and employer.  When staff are overseas, if they know the bill is being picked up by their company, they are less likely to pay attention to those nasty roaming and data charges.
  4. Death of the unlimited plan just as app and bandwidth use are increasing. Alas, the “all you can eat buffet” is closing.  And just in time for 4G LTE speeds and the mobile office to drive up data usage.  Costs that used to be fixed can now fluctuate wildly if they aren’t proactively managed.
  5. No ability to leverage pooled minutes/data, or bulk device buying power. As BYOD spreads, IT loses the central control to leverage pooling and hardware discounts.  If each employee is reimbursed for their own plan, those individual plans might be far more expensive than expected.
  6. Charges shift to expense reports where no one actively manages costs. When telecom is centralized, there is one place (and usually one person or group) that pays attention to budgeting and cost.  As those charges bleed down into expense reports, the managers of those various departments probably don’t know what to look for.  Thus costs can go up as people just eyeball the request and pay it – no questions asked.  

Stay tuned for our next trend discussion – The Privacy War…