Reining in BYOD expenses

BYOD is here to stay, and enterprises need to figure out a way to manage the costs associated with a BYOD program.

In a BizTech article, Craig Mathias, principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group, offers some tips to help enterprises get a grip on BYOD expenses.

First of all, enterprises need to create a BYOD policy, if they don't already have one. The policy should cover acceptable use, allowed devices and operating systems, approved carrier service plans and terms for expense reimbursement.

Mathias recommends that firms develop a methodology for reimbursing device and service expenses. He supports a fixed stipend, such as $100, for the purchase of a smartphone or tablet. Reimbursement for the monthly service charge could be a fixed monthly amount, a fixed percentage or actual charges.

The recent California Appeals Court decision, which held that California employers must reimburse employees for personal mobile phone call charges related to work, said the reimbursement should be a "reasonable percentage" of the employee's overall phone bill.

Once the methodology has been developed and put in place, enterprises need to engage in ongoing monitoring and analysis of BYOD expenses. Mathias notes that most telecom expense management suppliers offer monitoring and analysis services for wireless service plans, and some enterprise mobility management (EMM) firms are including expense monitoring and analysis as part of their offering.

According to a recent report by market research firm Kable, EMM vendors are increasingly adding mobile telecom expense management in order to provide a complete mobility suite for enterprises.

Mathias concludes: "To get started, build a model of the proposed solution. Carefully consider adoption rates, the impact of carrier diversity and the ongoing costs of policy monitoring and analysis. Don't forget to obtain legal advice on the policy before rolling it out."

For more:
- read Mathias' article in BizTech
- check out the release on the Kable report

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