IT Executives React to Mobility Costs and BYOD

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IT executives worldwide are showing increased concern about rising mobility costs and loss of control over Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

iPass and MobileIron surveyed 477 IT executives. The report shows 57 percent of respondents thought their mobile data-roaming costs would rise in 2013, with 8 percent saying they'll rise more than 25 percent. The top two sources of frustration due to BYOD were onboarding and supporting the increasing number and variety of personal devices. The survey also found that IT is increasingly losing control of mobility budgets.

"IT is charged with implementing solutions to boost employee productivity, and BYOD does that. But as more personal mobile devices with multiple platforms and operating systems are used for work, IT managers are challenged to safeguard corporate data and keep roaming costs low. And when mobility budgets are managed by departments rather than IT, data roaming costs can be hard to control," said Barbara Nelson, chief technology officer of iPass. “With mobile on track to become the primary computing platform for the enterprise, IT can regain control by setting strong BYOD policies and enforcing them ... "

Forty-four percent of IT managers attributed the rising data costs to the growing number of devices per mobile worker; 41 percent noted expensive 3G and 4G data plans; and 22 percent pointed to an increase in the number of mobile workers. On average, IT departments spend $96 per month on data fees for each worker.

“BYOD is more than just shifting ownership of the device to the employee," said Ojas Rege, MobileIron's vice president of strategy. “It has a number of implications for which a strategy needs to be defined in advance of implementation. This becomes even more critical as enterprise mobility evolves from securing email on mobile devices to delivering apps and content to employees anywhere at any time. An effective BYOD program starts with good preparation, but its long-term sustainability will depend on the ongoing quality of the employee’s experience."

The survey also shows that BYOD is continuing to gain ground, IT is more bullish on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 handsets than on RIM's BlackBerry 10 phones; tablet adoption is growing more mainstream within the enterprise; and more than half of IT managers are using Wi-Fi connectivity apps for work purposes.

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