IT managers are concerned about rising mobile data costs and BYOD challenges

Infotech Lead America: About 57 percent of IT managers are concerned about rising mobility costs and feeling frustration and loss of control over Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), according to the 2013 mobile enterprise report released by iPass and MobileIron.

Majority of survey respondents thought their mobile data roaming costs would rise in 2013, with 8 percent saying they’ll rise more than 25 percent.

BYOD is creating new challenges for IT. The top two sources of frustration were onboarding and then supporting the increasing number and variety of personal devices, far outranking even security concerns.

IT was found to be increasingly losing control of mobility budgets as departments assume greater responsibility for mobile initiatives. The number of enterprises in which IT manages the mobility spend has dropped to 48 percent, down from 53 percent in 2011. 40 percent of companies’ mobility budgets are now managed by non-IT departments.


Major cost culprits according to surveyed IT managers were growing number of devices per mobile worker (to 44 percent respondents), pricey 3G and 4G data plans (41 percent of respondents), and an increase in the number of mobile workers (22 percent of respondents).

On average, IT departments spend $96 a month on data fees alone for each mobile worker. North American mobile workers rack up the highest fees ($97/mo), exposing the expense of mobile broadband. These fees primarily reflect non-Wi-Fi forms of mobility, such as 3G and 4G as free Wi-Fi is abundant in North America.

It was evident that BYOD continues to gain ground, as 56 percent of respondents have changed their corporate guidelines within the past year to be more accommodating of employees’ preferences for using personal devices as compared to 47 percent in 2011. 81 percent of respondents state their company now accommodates personal devices in the office.

Nearly 54 percent have formal BYOD policies in the company. The survey found that while many organizations allow BYOD not all of them have actual policies for it. 55 percent of the companies surveyed reported some form of security issue over the past year, primarily with lost and stolen phones.

The survey also revealed that IT is more bullish on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 handsets than on RIM’s BlackBerry 10 phones. Only 34 percent of IT managers plan to support BlackBerry 10, compared to 45 percent who plan to support Windows Phone 8 devices going forward. Tablet usage shows an increasing trend in all non-executive departments.

Further 55 percent of IT managers are using Wi-Fi connectivity apps for work purposes. Wi-Fi apps were named as the most widely used apps out of 10 different types of enterprise mobility apps.

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