Who’s Footing the Bill For Your Mobility?
Our CEO had a great post about the Groundhog Day that Mobility Management seems to be re-living over and over. We wanted to go a little bit deeper and ask the serious question, are your wireless expense policies and processes sound and solid? There are plenty of factors to consider when companies take a closer look at the costs of mobility.
There are plenty of factors to consider when companies take a closer look at the costs of mobility. You should be determining how much money is being allocated for the program, where it’s going, how it’s being used and whether or not the investments are meeting their intended goals.
Who’s Footing the Bill?
But before you can jump into those questions, you have something else that must be addressed first: Who exactly is paying for mobility? The devices, wireless services and (most) of the applications that employees will be using certainly aren’t free. So where is the money coming from, the company or the end user?
It’s funny that such questions have recently taken on such importance. The answer was easy several years ago and didn’t require a second thought. That’s because the company almost always paid for mobility. It was easy, one device platform and service contract for a small segment of the workforce.
Of course, these days you’d be hard pressed to find such an enterprise mobility platform. And don’t forget that employees today commonly have one device that is split between work and personal use. During the work period the smartphone or tablet is used to check email and crunch numbers, but afterwards (at least we hope) it’s main purpose is as a gaming device.
The mixed-use model has been the most significant sticking point when it comes to who exactly pays for mobility.
“It ought to be noted … that as we roll out these mobile applications, we are also driving our companies’ wireless bills through the roof,” Christopher O’Malley recently wrote for Computerworld. “At some companies, data utilization is doubling every few months. And for those with large numbers of users, the resulting dollar figure is far from trivial.”
Enter the Wireless Expense Managers
As a result, many organizations are taking a long look at their wireless expense management programs. If skyrocketing data usage is due partly to the fact that employees are using their devices after hours, it is really the company’s responsibility to pay for that?
It’s a difficult question that may not win the IT department any points with the userbase. But it’s necessary to think about if your mobility program is to meet its intended goal of boosting efficiency and productivity. The former will be difficult to obtain is the company is constantly sinking more resources into a program.
So instead of ignoring the issue, organizations should be looking to take it head on. And many IT departments have done so by working with employees on a compromise. Such agreements come in many forms, and it’s up to you to determine which one will work for your company and employees’ use of mobility.
One common practice is to split the cost of wireless contracts with employees. Through either a stipend or having the person submit an expense account, you can subsidize what he or she is paying for data usage each month while still getting the most out of mobility.