The costs of enterprise mobility are increasing rapidly. On average, companies today are spending over $120 per month for each mobile employee. Twenty-five percent of all enterprises manage more than five carrier relationships and 14 percent more than 10. And although the IT department is still in charge of the mobility budget for nearly half of the companies surveyed, over one third of these enterprises seldom or never audit their mobility spending on a regular basis.
Employees are bringing in new devices every day wanting IT support and access to corporate systems. We conducted a survey to find out what IT thought about the costs of enterprise mobility and mobile device management, including smartphones, iPads and tablets.
Question 1. Who has the majority of the mobility budget at your company?
- IT department (48 percent)
- Individual departments or business units are next (30 percent),
- Finance department (17 percent).
Although mobility is still considered to be an IT expense at most organizations, mobility costs will continue to shift from the IT budget to the individual business units to help companies better understand and evaluate the effectiveness of mobility on each company profit center.
Question 2. What are the mobility costs per month for your employees?
On average, companies were spending $120 per month for each mobile employee. Not surprisingly, company executives incurred the highest mobility costs at $149 per month, followed by the company’s sales representatives at $148 per month.
Question 3. How many mobile carrier relationships for data do you have globally?
- One carrier – only 32 percent of respondents
- Two to five: 43 percent
- Six to ten: 11 percent
- Ten to twenty: 2 percent
- Over twenty: 12 percent
One quarter of the enterprises were managing more than five carrier relationships. Supporting too many carriers can add significant IT complexity to mobility management, and can eliminate the enterprise’s ability to negotiate volume discounts with multiple carriers.
Question 4. How do you think mobile data costs will change in the next 12 months?
- Decrease: 32 percent
- 0-5 percent increase: 27 percent
- 5-10 percent increase: 22%
- 10-20 percent increase: 13 percent
- More than 20 percent increase: 7 percent
IT managers were generally quite pessimistic on the costs of mobility in the short term. Less than one third (32 percent) felt that rates would decrease over the next 12 months, and 42 percent believed rates would likely outpace inflation â”EUR with an increase of at least five percent over the coming year.
Question 5. If you believe mobile data costs are going up, why?
- Increased use of smartphones: 36 percent
- More 3G data users: 32 percent
- More mobile workers: 16 percent
- More liberal mobile worker policies: 13 percent
- Other: 3 percent
Question 6. How often do you audit your mobility spend?
- Annually: 11 percent
- Quarterly: 16 percent
- Monthly 38 percent
- Rarely: 20 percent
- Never: 15 percent
Perhaps the most startling result from the survey was the fact that just over one third of all respondents (35 percent) rarely or never audited their mobility spend! It is important for these enterprises to remember that it is impossible to control what hasn’t been measured.
Reigning in Connectivity Costs
Mobility costs are already out of control for many enterprises, and the problem will most likely only get worse over time. Enterprises need the ability to manage mobility throughout the entire user and service life-cycle, from procurement and provisioning, through configuration and testing, to deployment and service management and then monitor and enforce these policies in real time. But in order to manage mobility, enterprises need tools and metrics that allow them to easily monitor and report on users, devices, and access.
The true costs of mobility must be calculated in order to adopt and enforce financially motivated policies. The fact that companies can’t easily do this now means they default to simple predictable unlimited flat rate plans for all users which they are substantially overpaying. Enterprises can’t negotiate as well when they have less information than their carriers.