Enterprise mobility gets plenty of attention, but when budget season rolls around, it’s important to focus as much on the fundamentals as on the latest industry trends. Creating a budget is more than just number-crunching—it’s a strategic activity that is influenced by device usability, security, logistics, and collaboration. Focusing on the six key items below will help your organization increase profitability and productivity for 2014 and beyond.
1. Hardware and connectivity.
Companies have a myriad of mobile device options, creating the need to navigate a sea of hardware types and operating system variations. Furthermore, customers must pay attention to the influences created by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. Hardware selection can be based on a variety of factors, such as form factor, wireless carrier compatibility, battery life, application availability, screen size, and more. For corporate-owned assets, evaluating leasing versus capital expenditure is important, not just to spread out costs but to enable a vehicle for consistent device refresh. Hardware, usage, and data costs are strongly influenced by your BYOD strategy. If you’re moving toward a stipend BYOD model and retiring corporate devices, your hardware lifecycle costs might decrease. However, there will be new factors to consider, such as whether employees are being reimbursed for data plans on additional personal devices. It’s also important to take into account the number of employees who still use corporate-liable devices—such as salespeople or those with access to protected data.
2. Security and management.
As your mobile user base grows, so will costs for security and mobile device management (MDM), including software licensing, support, hosting, and administration. With the rise of cloud-based MDM solutions, many companies are turning the capital costs of MDM servers into more predictable operational costs by paying for security software monthly or annually. On the security side, platform- and application-level security measures need to be consistently updated in light of evolving threats. It is also important to invest in user education and engagement, which is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce security risks.
3. Mobile support.
Help-desk costs can vary greatly depending on the mix of employee-owned and corporate-owned devices. For corporate-owned devices, employees expect support for issues involving hardware, applications, device replacement, and more. On the BYOD side, users can self-support to some degree, but BYOD programs don’t eliminate the need for help-desk services. Some companies offer users full access to a traditional phone-based help desk; others provide employee-to-employee communities or limit support to self-service resources. Costs will vary depending on your model.
4. Application planning, development, costs, and support.
Apps are at the heart of mobile productivity. In addition to licensing costs for third-party apps and development costs for internally built apps, companies need to consider the cost of creating, maintaining, deploying, and supporting in-house apps. Corporate-owned devices are ideal for the addition of applications to drive customer service and productivity gains. In a BYOD scenario, ensuring that everyone has access to the apps they need can be more expensive than with corporate-owned devices. Support also comes into play in the app space. If users come to rely on certain apps for day-to-day work, resources need to be available when those apps aren’t functioning properly or if an end user needs help using them.
5. Lost and broken equipment costs.
Sometimes mobile devices get damaged, lost, or stolen. The costs may vary depending on your company’s policies, but the risks should be taken into account regardless. Although, “bring your own” can also mean “fix your own” and “replace your own,” that’s not always the case, particularly if the device is damaged while an employee is on the job. And your organization will definitely be responsible for covering the costs associated with corporate-owned devices. Ensuring that devices are quickly replaced is key to maximizing the value of your investment in corporate-owned mobile devices.
6. Content management and collaboration.
With the basics of your mobility strategy largely addressed, the next step is to extend capability and access to deployed devices. Before doing so, it is critical to consider how content will be securely managed, accessed, and shared. With a variety of tools available, including cloud-based, on-premises, and hybrid implementation approaches, enterprise customers need to determine the best way to enable and endorse content collaboration while mitigating risk.
With your budgets and plans in order for 2014, you have a solid foundation for tackling key strategic priorities. To get a head start on your BYOD plans or mobility strategy updates, check out these resources.