Mobile Device Management

Enterprise mobility costs - are you missing a trick?

This is a contributed piece by Eldar Tuvey, CEO and co-founder of Wandera

Enterprise mobility is ubiquitous. For US and UK businesses, it is no longer a case of whether or not to use devices, but how best to manage and secure them.

Wandera recently conducted a study that specifically defined the true Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for Enterprise Mobility. Based on a survey of 1,000 IT decision makers across the US and UK, it uncovered a number of startling trends that show the security and cost implications that come with supplying and managing employee devices. Enterprise mobility is an inevitable cost of doing business today – but how can businesses avoid the spiralling costs that come with enabling a mobile workforce?

The findings from this report will show enterprises worldwide how the identification of typical mobility costs can lead to better management of mobile expenditure.

What is your TCO?

Typical perceptions of TCO are a simple equation of the ‘Device + Plan’. This is grossly inadequate, made worse when ‘Plan’ only includes predicted carrier costs, not unexpected extras such as roaming bill shocks or excessive data usage. Based on these common expectations, TCO is thought to be in the region of $853 per device per annum (£628 in the UK) – however, the reality is that it’s much closer to $1,840 (£1,272 in the UK). Overall, the costs equate to a staggering $51.9 billion in total spend for American businesses, and £13.2 billion in total for UK businesses.

These contrasting figures are fuelled by cost factors that are too often forgotten; such as the IT resources required to manage the devices, management services such as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Telecom Expense Management (TEM), mobile security software, the cost of remedying mobile security breaches, and roaming charges.

For example, the survey revealed that the largest companies had a 21% higher mobile device TCO than smaller companies. This was largely caused by their greater spend on management platforms such as EMM, customer app building and also their greater propensity to suffer bill shock.

Too few enterprises are excluding important line items in their TCO calculations, and so are considering their mobile estates to be cheaper to run than they really are. If this erroneous belief persists, then basic cost-saving measures will be missed while enterprise mobility costs continue to accumulate.

Is it controllable, or inevitable?

With the evidence that an enterprise’s mobility TCO is higher than many would expect, comes the revelation that, depending on company size, 45% - 65% of the entire cost is controllable. The controllable elements are essentially carrier costs and security spend. Whereas, hardware costs, IT spend and management platforms are largely inevitable.

By rolling out a successful data management policy, enterprises can significantly reduce carrier costs – carrier plans by 10%, carrier extras by 50% and can even remove bill shock altogether. Prudent usage policies including capping and blocking can ensure that access to unrequired content is restricted – even to the extent of removing as much as 30% of overall data used. Similarly, improved security measures such as mobile threat prevention software can remove the need for mobile security breach remedy.

This means that the proportion of controllable versus inevitable costs presents a very positive picture for SMEs and enterprises alike. With potential savings of up to $479 per device (£425 in the UK) across thousands of devices, there is an opportunity for millions in annual savings available to conscientious mobility managers.

A truly holistic approach is required by all enterprises to assess the actual total cost of ownership of an employee mobile device. In today’s evolving mobile landscape, with significant financial risks, security risks and legal risks, enterprises must regain control of their mobile estates. The first step is to gain complete visibility into where their mobility budget is being spent.


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