There are many reasons mobile data use has seen a steady increase over the last seven years, with video streaming being the primary driver. With the dramatic increases in mobile processing power and graphics capabilities, it has individuals more dependent upon their mobile devices than ever before, blurring the lines of separation between business and personal usage. Recent statistics show more than half of all data usage stems from video streaming, and the Ericsson Mobility Annual Report this year projects 76% of all data use by 2025 will come from video streaming. Much of this projected explosion in usage is attributed to the rollout of 5G.
For example, a 42-minute TV episode without commercials can consume up to 2GB of HD video or up to 4GB of 4K Ultra HD video. The data cost of watching 3 TV episodes is the equivalent of two full feature movie tickets. Companies would never consider giving out weekly movie tickets to employees, yet effectively, that is happening today on business-liable mobile devices. If an employee enjoys 30 minutes a day of wireless streaming, that will result in 20GBs of monthly usage.
There are many ways data users can incur non-business data usage. Companies that provide mobile devices are paying the bill for unrestricted video streaming and social media consumption of their employees and, in most cases, have no idea how and when their employees are using mobile devices. While tools exist to increase employee awareness and give insight into how data is used, many companies are still unaware of these capabilities. Companies are struggling to correlate the historical usage from carrier invoices to individual users to understand the cost impact of personal video streaming. This daunting task can be less complicated when employing the right technical solutions.
After the paradigm switch from voice usage to data usage, many companies have not updated their mobile use policies. Some mobile usage behaviors not only cost the company money on needless data consumption, but it may also be contributing to a reduction in employee productivity. A significant component of data usage control comes through education. Many users with company-provided devices do not understand the cost impact of their indiscriminate video and social media usage. Real cost savings are generated when users maximize WiFi use where available; therefore, it should be encouraged for all users.
Becoming aware of the amount of data used and how it is used is essential in awareness education that can impact user behavior. These lessons cannot be quickly learned from standard monthly invoices. Timely notifications are fundamental to increasing awareness. Engaging employees in overall company cost control efforts requires real-time capabilities to impact usage. Users need to realize when their use has become excessive, and that is accomplished with mid-cycle alerting. Real-time texts are effective in notifying users of excessive data accompanied by email alerts to management.
Best-in-class awareness training solutions use threshold alerts. Alert notifications can be sent to any user or group of users based on preset threshold levels. The alerts are delivered via a text or email with a tailored message based on an organization’s data use policies. The alert message could also reference the company’s expected monthly data use threshold. Multiple alerts at increasing threshold levels could reinforce employee awareness of how monthly usage is progressing. Alert notifications can also be distributed to the user’s direct management for increased awareness and effectiveness. Today’s rapidly changing data delivery capabilities demand new tools and approaches, or the cost of productivity-enhancing mobile devices will soon outstrip their benefit.
If companies reduce the average amount of data used by 1GB over all their users, this translates to $5.00 less than their carrier discount multiplied by the entire population of devices. For a company with a 10% carrier discount and 2,000 devices, the financial impact would be $4.50 multiplied by 2,000 devices or $9,000 per month. On an annual basis, the return on this control capability would be more than $100K! The potential return for empowering employees by alerts can positively impact the cost consumed on carrier invoices.
Smart companies understand there are affordable solutions that not only help empower employees to make better choices on data use but see the significant benefit data management solutions bring to the company’s mobile programs. Real-Time alerting can be an important cost inhibitor, and with MobilSentry™, notifications can be deployed flexibly to meet varying company cultures.
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