And businesses are buying in: Recent statistics show that 60 percent of companies (and growing) have a formal BYOD policy, and 87 percent rely on employees to use their own devices. In terms of spend, the BYOD market is expected to reach $367B by 2022.
Beneath the bright and shiny surface, however, lurks the Law of Unintended Consequences. The most obvious concern is having sensitive data and applications reside on an employee-owned device that isn’t properly secured. BYOD also poses a range of management challenges – delivering consistent plans across a wide range of carriers, standardizing equipment, supporting internal applications and providing that Enterprise level account experience consistently across multiple carriers.
Perhaps the thorniest issue is this: the individual (consumer) wireless plan that an employee brings to the workplace with BYOD is in many cases far more limited than the Enterprise grade business plans offered by the employer. Specifically, carriers are not allowed to offer users on an individual plan the same features and pricing available to users on business plans.
That’s generally not a significant problem for basic domestic voice and data services, the majority of these rates are roughly comparable. However, any type of custom corporate plans and specifically international offerings are a different matter. So with BYOD, the nightmare scenario is an employee returning from a weeklong sales trip to Amsterdam to a $20K bill for voice, text and data usage. That’s an expense report no employee wants to file and no boss wants to approve.
To avoid these headaches, many businesses are turning to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) who apply an advance pay model that can consolidate and provide a singular rate for all BYOD users. Under this arrangement, the MVNO partner can provide a more unified plan price across multi-carriers, as well as manage the BYOD user support requirements. This helps removes the burden of handling the devilish details that accompany BYOD.
Today, employees and their mobile devices are joined at the hip (literally and figuratively), and the lines between work and leisure time are becoming more and more blurred. It’s time to give BYOD a second look, better options are here now to manage all of the limitations that stopped you from deploying the program that you always wanted to provide to your employees.
Michael O’Donnell is Mobility Director of Sales at Claro Enterprise Solutions.