Measuring the true cost of BYOD programs

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Measuring the true cost of BYOD programs

[Blog post]: Assumptions and methodology.

Today you may have read that I am attempting a new form of story - a one month, rolling blog format that takes in feedback on my assumptions and methodology - in a quest to measure the true cost of BYOD programs.

The first item on my agenda is to narrow my scope. Every organisation has varying operating models, user needs and exposure to risk, so I need to generalise a little to sum up common approaches to solving the dilemma so far.

This is what I'd like to start with:

  • The fleet approach: Provisioning one standard device (usually RIM's Blackberry, in the past), with a single management framework, benefiting from discounts gained from suppliers, devices remain corporate property, refresh every three to four years.
  • The approved device approach: Support for a short-list of approved devices at the expense of the enterprise, purchased under an employee stipend/loan/salary packaging, limited potential for a supplier discount, devices remain staff property, refreshed at staff expense.
  • The open approach: Support for unlimited range of devices, licensing of mobile device management software or other such solutions, no supplier discounts, devices remain staff property, refreshed at staff expense.

I’d like to think I have most bases covered - with relatively few variables - using the fleet, approved device and open approaches. I’m keen to hear from you if you think otherwise.

Here are the questions I’m looking to answer to get the ball rolling:

  1. What number of devices would represent the average Australian enterprise?
    I need the data to be as meaningful for large enterprise as medium-sized organisations. Is 2000 a good number? I’m thinking something between the 2000 employees at a government agency like DEEWR,  and the 45,000 at the Commonwealth Bank.
  2. What access does large enterprise have to supplier discounts on handsets, tablets or laptops?
    Do discounts kick in at 200 devices, or closer to 1000? Do the discounts get any better for 2000, 5000 or 10,000 devices?
  3. What is the average stipend allocated to Australian employees for smartphones or tablets? 
    And what is the relative cost of opting for low-cost loans or salary packaging instead? Further, what would be a meaningful number of devices to support under an approved device strategy? Three? Five?
  4. Will your smartphone or tablet last you three to four years before requiring a new device as they have in the past?
  5. What is the per-seat cost of popular mobile device management tools on the market? 

If you have answers to any of these questions, I’d love to hear from you. Tune in tomorrow and we’ll take this conversation a little further.

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Brett Winterford

One of Australia’s most experienced technology journalists, former iTnews Group Editor Brett Winterford has written about the business of technology for 15 years.

Awarded Business Journalist and Technology Journalist of the year at the 2004 ITjourno awards and Editor of the Year at the 2009 Publishers Australia 'Bell' awards, Winterford has extensive experience in both the business and technology press, writing for such publications as the Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.

As editor of iTnews Brett has led a team of award-winning journalists; delivered speeches at industry events; authored, commissioned and edited research papers, curated technology conferences [The iTnews Executive Summit and Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit and also shares the judging of the annual Benchmark Awards.

Brett's areas of specialty include enterprise software, cloud computing and IT services.

Read more from this blog: The True Cost of BYOD

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