A recent survey shows that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is impacting IT departments worldwide, increasing frustration and the loss of control as well as raising concerns over rising mobile data costs. In the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Report, released by iPass and MobileIron, the majority of survey respondents, 57%, thought their mobile data roaming costs would rise in 2013, with 8% saying they will rise more than 25%.
The survey noted that mobile IT has the huge potential to improve workforce productivity, while it also introduces significant new challenges for enterprises. Indeed, BYOD creates new challenges for IT. Of the survey’s respondents, 53.8% said their companies had a BYOD policy. The report also found that despite internal doubts, IT policies are becoming more flexible. A majority of respondents said their corporate guidelines had become more accommodating of employees’ personal devices over the past year, likely in reaction to employee demands.
The survey shows that the top two sources of frustration were onboarding and then supporting the increasing number and variety of personal devices, both far outranking even security concerns.
The survey also found that IT is increasingly losing control of mobility budgets as other departments assume greater responsibility for mobile initiatives. In fact, IT is losing control of mobility management: 40% of companies’ mobility budgets are now managed by non-IT departments.
Another IT concern is related to rising data costs. According to the survey, 44% of IT managers named the growing number of devices per mobile worker as a factor; 41% highlighted expensive 3G (and LTE) data plans; and 22% pointed to an increase in the number of mobile workers as the major cost culprits.
Regarding mobile devices, the survey noted that increasingly flexible policies are changing the device mix in the enterprise. In 2011, RIM’s BlackBerry was the top enterprise smartphone with support at 77% of companies. Apple’s iPhone was second with a presence at 52% of enterprises. In the latest Mobile Enterprise Survey, the brands have switched places. Apple’s iPhone is now the leader, with support from 74% of enterprises. BlackBerry held onto second place with 62%, but its popularity is rapidly eroding.
Although new device lines surged, such as Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 and RIM’s BlackBerry 10, only 34% of IT managers plan to support BlackBerry 10, compared to 45% who plan to support Windows Phone 8 devices going forward.
As for tablets, they are set to go mainstream. Between 2011 and 2012, tablet usage increased in all non-executive departments. In 2012, IT managers increased tablet support for a number of non-executive departments, including sales, marketing, engineering, finance/accounting, HR/administration and legal (deployments ranged from tablets as laptop replacements to tablets as additional mobile devices). Legal and HR/administration saw the biggest boost in tablet support (each department increased 14% year-over-year) followed by finance/accounting (increasing 13% year-over-year).