CIO Nightmares Part 2: BYOD Challenges, Mobility Costs

CIO Nightmares Part 2: BYOD Challenges, Mobility Costs

CIOs have expressed concern about the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend  for its potential to lead to legal hassles and data backup issues, with some IT decision makes acknowledging that they'd rather have a tooth pulled than admitting to the boss that there's been a data loss. (The nightmares continue.) Now another new survey dives deeper into IT executives' worries around BYOD challenges and rising mobility costs. What challenges has BYOD created for these executives? How are mobility costs rising? A recent iPass Inc. (NASDAQ: IPAS) and MobileIron survey revealed the answers. Here are the details.

The survey revealed that the top two sources of frustration were onboarding (basically the learning curve of employees) and supporting the increasing number and variety of personal devices. Surprisingly, both of these two sources outranked security concerns, typically the topic of discussion with BYOD. Although executives may be frustrated with BYOD, the survey revealed that BYOD continues to gain ground. Fifty-six percent of respondents changed their corporate guidelines within the past year to be more accommodating of employees' preferences for using personal devices, up from 47 percent in 2011.

Have BYOD policies been effective?
More than half of the respondents have formal BYOD policies in place, and North American companies are more likely than European companies to have done so. These companies may have implemented BYOD policies, but were these BYOD policies effective? According to the survey, of the 72 percent of enterprises with enterprise mobility strategies in place, only 37 percent of IT managers thought their own company's mobile strategy was effective, and 35 percent beileved that their company had an insufficient approach.

"An effective BYOD program starts with good preparation," said MobileIron Vice President of Strategy Ojas Rege in a prepard statement, "but its long-term sustainability will depend on the ongoing quality of the employee’s experience."

What is causing the rise in mobility costs?
How have companies handled the rising costs of mobility? Not so well, the survey revealed. Executives said that IT is increasingly losing control of mobility budgets. Respondents reported that 40 percent of companies' mobility budgets are now managed by non-IT departments. The increase in mobile devices revealed to be a factor: 44 percent of IT managers named the growing number of devices per mobile worker. The rising costs in data plans were reported as a major cost factor, as well as the increase in the number of mobile workers. IT departments on average spend $96 a month on data fees alone for each mobile worker. The costs primarily reflect non-WiFi forms of mobility, such as 3G and 4G.

"IT is charged with implementing solutions to boost employee productivity, and BYOD does that," said iPass CTO Barbara Nelson in a statement. "But as more personal mobile devices with multiple platforms and operating systems are used for work, IT managers are challenged to safeguard corporate data and keep roaming costs low."

The survey also revealed the following findings:

  • 34 percent of IT managers plan to support BlackBerry 10, compared to 45 percent who plan to support Windows Phone 8 devices going forward,
  • Tablet adoption is growing more mainstream within the enterprise,
  • 55 percent of the companies surveyed reported some form of security issue over the past year, primarily with lost and stolen phones.
The iPass/MobileIron Mobile Enterprise Report was based on a survey of IT executives conducted between December 2012 and January 2013, resulting in 477 responses. The majority of respondents were currently employed IT professionals at the director level or above. Half of the respondents worked for companies with more than 1,000 employees.

iPass launched a new version of its iPass Open Mobile for iOS — a WiFi client for iOS devices -- back in January. The most recent version of the iPass Open Mobile client includes automatic background authentication, enhanced network labeling and pop-up notification of iPass network availability.

 
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