There is a fairy-tale misconception that by allowing employees to use their own devices, the business will save a fortune in corporate dollars. The truth is, if not managed correctly, costs of BYOD or ‘bring your own device‘ may go up in the end. In this blog post we’ll identify the real costs of BYOD and ways to structure a good model for a BYOD program.

Transitioning Costs of BYOD

If your business is currently functioning in a company-owned model, understand that the transition to BYOD is labor intensive.  Employees will need to take over liability which could mean hours on the phone with carriers. TIP: Many companies enlist the help of an outsourcing company to assist with the transition to save employees time and frustration.

Who Purchases the Device?

Most employees initially already have a phone, however employers need to make sure that the device meets corporate guidelines as well as document policy around corporate dollars towards the cost of a phone. TIP: Employers may choose to buy the initial device, but if the employee loses it, it is important to stipulate that he/she is responsible to pay for the next one.

Paying for the Plan

Most employers provide a stipend for their employees in a BYOD environment. The market average is around $80 per month. Traditionally, any cost over the stipend is the employee’s responsibility. In a company-owned device environment, the business can group plans for a discount based on volume. Businesses can get an average monthly wireless bill to around $50 per user per month.  The average difference between costs of BYOD and corporate-liable is around $30 per user per month.

Understanding the Support Issue

The support of users is an area that companies can lose a lot of time and money with increased costs of BYOD. Who supports the BYOD phone? Here’s a classic example: the employee calls in and says that a corporate app is not working. Initially it may seem that this should go to the corporate support desk, however, we find out that a personal application the employee downloaded is interfering with the corporate application. The unknown personal information, apps or settings may interfere with the functioning of corporate information on the device. It is important to make clear distinctions up front about all support procedures.

BYOD is not a magical cost-cutter. There are many costs of BYOD, both tangible and intangible, from transitioning to a BYOD environment, ensuring the device meets corporate guidelines, paying for the plan, and ongoing support. An effective BYOD policy will address security, clearly define allowable apps, and outline support processes to keep an employee as productive as possible. Understanding and setting policy around employee/employer responsibility will put you on the right track towards effectively managing your BYOD environment.