Enterprise mobility management A press release from analyst firm Gartner has claimed that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs “typically do not” save businesses money.

BYOD refers to employees using their own personal mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to access corporate data and applications. It contrasts with the traditional strategy of a business providing all the equipment used for work purposes.

“As businesses look to drive ever more capability to the mobile device, the costs of software, infrastructure, personnel support and related services will increase over time,” the press release said. “Once companies start including file sharing, business applications and collaboration tools, the costs to provide mobile services go up dramatically.”

The analysis is broken down further in Gartner’s report, “Bring Your Own Device: New Opportunities, New Challenges.” It lists several common situations in which BYOD does not reduce costs, including:

  • International travel, where costs are best controlled by having a company manage service plans and devices centrally.
  • Few employees bringing their own devices, failing to produce an economy of scale for support purposes.
  • Cases in which employees’ devices are not the optimum models for the mobile applications the company already has.

When employees do buy into the BYOD model, it is likely that they own a wide variety of devices, running multiple versions of several operating systems. Supporting that heterogeneous environment can put strains on IT staff and increase costs. Distributing company-approved mobile devices, while more expensive initially, can bring support costs down over the long term.

Nevertheless, the report concluded, there are less tangible benefits to the BYOD model. Companies are likely to increase employee satisfaction and the number of mobile users by allowing use of personal devices. It also allows adopting new technology more quickly.

Does your company have a BYOD policy? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: byod, mobile applications, bring your own device, collaboration tools, byod policy