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Enterprise mobility: Ignore the true TCO at your peril

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Many IT pros are “dangerously unrealistic” about the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their mobile initiatives, concludes a new study based on a survey of 1,000 IT professionals in the U.S. and U.K.

“Typical perceptions of TCO are a simple equation of the ‘Device + Plan.’ This is grossly inadequate,” according to the study by RedShift Research on behalf of Wandera, a mobile security vendor. Left out of that equation are “unexpected extras such as roaming bill shocks or excessive data usage.”

This failure to accurately calculate TCO means that enterprises are paying more than twice what they thought they would pay for a mobile program (on an annual, per-device basis), the study says:

Rather than the typically perceived $853 (or £628 in the UK), our research has discovered that the average TCO is in fact $1,840 (£1,272 in the UK). The actual TCO is 116% higher than commonly expected by most mobility managers in the US (103% in the UK).

The culprit tends to be unanticipated carrier costs, which the study, “Uncovering the True Costs of Enterprise Mobility,” refers to as “bill shock.” And the larger the enterprise, the bigger the shock because:

Larger enterprises … tend to employ less scrutiny over an individual employee’s excessive data use or roaming charges, and they are more likely to require their employees to travel to emerging countries where data costs can be extraordinarily high.

As mobile technology and mobile data become even more critical to the digital economy, enterprises that “are not sufficiently rigorous in their mobile spend control” face genuine financial risk, the study says.

No doubt, spending more than twice what you expected for each mobile device is a certain invitation for a spirited conversation with your CEO. IT pros need to keep it real about mobile costs, and rely on tools that offer them insight into usage as well as administrative control, along with clear (and clearly communicated) mobile policies.

Does your enterprise know what it’s really spending on its mobile program?



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