By Dave Hannon
It was an odd feeling. I don't remember the exact date but I remember the moment I first gave my personal cell phone number to a work contact. It was in the days when a few select executives were getting corporate Blackberries, but for the rest of us, mobile phones were still a personal choice. I had one and was arranging a meeting at a conference and my contact asked "what's your cell number?" I paused. I wasn't sure how to respond. To me at that time, it was equivalent to someone asking for my home phone number or my personal email address. There was a line being crossed.
Today, that line is so blurry, it pretty much doesn't exist to many workers. It seems funny to even think about. The list of contacts on my iPhone is a mix of personal and professional contacts and, frankly, it still feels a bit "odd" to see the name of a relatively new work contact just below the nickname I gave my friend in the fifth grade. But that's the world we live in today. Lines are blurry.
Most companies are still figuring out which mobile device strategy makes the most sense for them. That's why this IDC report caught my eye this week. It provides a benchmark regarding how companies are approaching this topic. According to the report, 77% of companies provide smartphones to employees and of those, the vast majority buy and issue them. Only 7% let employees buy a smartphone and then reimburse them (I frankly would have guessed that number to be much higher).
This report also says half of companies are buying tablets for employees. From a functional standpoint, that surprised me -- I didn't realize it was that high (I'm officially coining the BYOT acronymn). But from a cost standpoint, IDC has a clear warning about tablets:
"Surprisingly, a high percent of respondents reported they expect tablets will be a second device to the laptop/desktop. The notion that tablets would be treated as second devices to laptops and refreshed every 2.5 years will be costly for IT organizations in the long run. IDC estimates it will cost the average large organization an additional 1% of their IT budget every year just to refresh the tablets alone."
One way to offset that cost? Turn mobile into a productivity tool and even a revenue generator at your organization. For a bit of strategy on how to do that, check out Usman Sheikh's article in the latest issue of SAPinsider here:
There are also some great tips for deploying a BYOD strategy in your organization in this insiderPROFILES article from Sam Lakkundi at Kony Solutions.
What do you think? Should companies:
Buy and issue mobile devices to employees?
Let employees select and buy devices but reimburse them?
Let employees connect personal devices to company networks but not offer reimbursement?
I have no opinion
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