Gartner: BYOD will replace company-issued phones in 50% of firms

Even as many companies are still deciding whether to allow BYOD, a new report says organizations will soon require it. 

Allowing users to work on their own personal mobile devices can bring a lot of benefits for companies, including higher productivity and lower costs if employees foot the bill for their smartphones and cellular plans.

However, there are also enough mobile security concerns and tricky legal questions that give companies second thoughts before they allow BYOD.

In addition, while companies can cut certain costs when employees use personal devices, the added costs of supporting all those smartphones and tablets can be significant. That”s why some observers had predicted that this year, companies would change course on BYOD and start issuing more company-owned devices.

But that hasn”t been happening, according to a . Companies are finding that BYOD is overall less expensive than providing devices for employees and will continue moving in that direction.

In fact, by 2017, Gartner predicts that almost half (45%) of organizations will stop issuing smartphones and tablets to employees and will rely solely on BYOD for mobile computing.

According to the report, company-provided devices cost an average of $600 per employee per year, making BYOD the more cost-effective option in most cases. In half of organizations, employees aren”t reimbursed at all if they use a personal device for work.

Most of the rest pay for some of the costs, while only 2% of organizations reimburse all of the costs of a personal device as part of their BYOD program.

BYOD isn”t free

However, analysts made sure to point out that companies do incur some costs when employees bring in their own smartphones and tablets — on average, $100 per employee per year.

In addition to a greater need for IT support, here some of the hidden costs of BYOD that organizations should plan for:

  • More expensive cellular contracts — if the company offers reimbursement — due to a loss of volume discounts
  • Time IT staff spends configuring devices and approving them before they”re allowed onto the company”s network, and
  • Increased complexity in cases when upper level employees ask for an exception to the company”s mobile device policy.

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