According to one researcher, the belief that a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy reduces company costs and increases productivity is false. The reality of this statement will be determined by what happens in 2013.
While it is a commonly accept belief that the trend of BYOD will only get stronger in the coming year, Nucleus Research disagrees. In a recent statement, Nucleus came out with the shocking forecast that BYOD will actually decline as a result of growing enterprise mobility.
This is based on the thought that BYOD reached its peak of popularity and hype during this year, but the next year will bring the harsh truth crashing down.
CIOs everywhere jump on the idea of allowing employees to help carry the cost of smartphones and tablets. This is because, for the most part, workers are responsible for keeping up with and supporting their own devices. The idea of BYOD is to increase productivity among workers by combining their personal lives and work lives into one device. This idea is especially attractive to the Millennials, a new form of worker that prefers to blur the line between work and play by using these personal devices.
The bigger companies like Cisco, Ingram, and VMware jumped on the BYOD bandwagon wholeheartedly, implementing smartphones mandates. VMware reports that in this year alone, they expect to save seven figures thanks to their new BYOD program. Cisco is also proud of their BYOD implementation and believes it could solve the troubled relationship issues between IT and business.
Taking the direct opposite side to Nucleus, Gartner stands behind its prediction that BYOD will be at the top of the technology trend list for the upcoming year. On that same note, they believe that mobile devices will pass personal computers for being the most common method for accessing the Internet. Forrester Research has support for this prediction from their finding that 81 percent of firms now have tablet plans and 250 million employees are expected to have tablets by 2016.
But just how true are these promising BYOD benefits? According to Nucleus, they are far from the truth.
In their words, “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.” Nucleus continues with the claim that “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.”
Indeed, this research group may be following the right path. The first concerns about the validity of BYOD’s supposed cost-saving aspect came up earlier this year when Aberdeen Group produced a highly controversial report. In this report, they claimed that a company with 1,000 smartphones running a BYOD program spends on average $170,000 more, not less, per year.
The reason for this is unveiled as one of BYOD’s biggest hidden costs – the cost of processing the extra expense reports.
Another weakened chain in the BYOD link is that the cost of company-owned personal computers is decreasing. Ben Reitzes, a Barclays Capital analyst, foresees that in the next couple of years, the PC replacement cycle will extend to be a few years longer.