Moving beyond the anecdotal: BYOD is actually saving enterprises money

December 3, 2014

In just the last few years, mobile devices have followed the same path that most technologies do – they’ve gotten more powerful and a lot less expensive. This has led to an ever-expanding proliferation of smartphones and tablets, bringing these products to near-ubiquity. And because these devices have gotten so advanced, consumers aren’t just using them for personal business. They’re actually using them for work.

Advanced mobile technology enables the BYOD workplace
As consumers get their hands on enterprise-quality hardware, they’re starting to use their smartphones and tablets as much for work as they do for fun. This trend is often referred to as the BYOD workplace, where employees are using their own personal devices for business purposes.

The BYOD workplace is praised as a forward-looking concept that benefits both employers and employees. Employees can use their mobile devices to work from wherever they want, whenever they want thanks to the always-on access that cloud computing enables. Early reports from enterprises that have adopted this type of workplace have extolled the benefits of it, citing observations of increased worker satisfaction and higher productivity.

While these reports are certainly intriguing to IT managers who are on the fence about allowing a BYOD workplace, much of the evidence surrounding the benefits has been mostly anecdotal so far. A recent report, however, is showing some data that supports what has been discussed, but hardly verified.

BYOD workplaces are actually delivering on their promises
Increased employee satisfaction and a boost to productivity sounds nice, but is it actually true? Network World reported that a recent speech from Gartner analysts says that it is.

According to the speech, IT departments in BYOD enterprises can support almost three times as many users in BYOD programs than they could if the company purchased the hardware. Additionally, the research agency found that direct costs of employee-owned tablets were 64 percent lower than company-issued tablets.

“IT leaders can spend half a million dollars to buy and support 1,000 enterprise-owned tablets, while they can support 2,745 user-owned tablets with that same budget,” said Federica Troni, research director at Gartner, in a statement.

Of course, infrastructure costs that come with supporting a BYOD workplace are likely to rise with adoption. IT departments are going to have to find the right level of support for this new paradigm if they want to actually see these savings affect the bottom line.

Regardless, Gartner found that even though the transition might be difficult, they expect that 90 percent of organizations will have some level of a BYOD environment as early as 2017.