According to Forrester, costs associated with mobility devices, service and ongoing management are projected to be 22% and remain the largest category of overall IT spending this year. Annual cost per employee for mobility handsets and services can run $1500 to $2000 a year. As anyone involved with mobility can attest, these expenses are inherently challenging to control.
Perhaps the second law of thermodynamics that every unattended system moves to disorder has no better financial proof point than mobility. The four primary contributing factors that lead to the inherently difficult task of bringing order and control to mobility spending chaos are:
1) Rapidly increasing handset costs and an innate employee desire to own the latest and greatest technology can lead to unnecessary equipment charges when employees trigger an equipment upgrade prior to their eligibility dates.
2) Dynamically changing employee bases make it difficult to know who possesses which assets and whether they are being properly used, are walking out the door with a terminated employee or just sitting idle in a desk drawer.
3) Mobile devices are effectively being metered 24×7 and incurring costs not only while an employee is ‘on the clock’ but when they are ‘off the clock.’ Data usage, much more than voice, is often masked beneath an application, leaving the end user little insight into the magnitude of data consumed for any given action.
4) Finally, add to all these issues a complicated and ever-changing set of carrier rate plans and options as well as confusion in terms of best available market prices, discounts, and carrier cost-cutting concessions.
The misuse of a mobile device whether done deceptively (fraud), intentionally taking advantage of loopholes in company policy and monitoring (abuse), or simply by ignorance to the financial costs of non-business use (waste) presents ample opportunity for companies to pay far more in monthly equipment and service charges than they should.
Employee theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, per FBI sources because it is difficult to uncover. Reactive versus proactive approaches by companies to employee theft greatly increases exposure to fraud. The active resale market for today’s costly smartphones and tablets provide incentive for dishonesty when asset tracking is not done in a vigorous fashion.
The presence of a mobile corporate use policy alone does not fully deter abuse. If company guidelines cannot be sufficiently monitored and enforced employees will often test the bounds of company usage policies and expand those boundaries. Abuse examples include excessive voice or data use for non-business purposes. It may include downloading applications at the company’s expense or using a company smartphone as a hotspot for personal activities from home.
The most predominant and potentially costly of the three categories of exposure is waste as it can be spread over a significant number of well-intentioned employees. Employees’ enthusiastic usage of today’s data-centric billing plans may represent a complete lack of awareness that the functions they are utilizing on their device are running up large amounts of data usage. Companies are increasingly experiencing a rise in the monthly average GB-per-device usage rates. With the positive economics of the new carrier data pooling plans, excessive usage is often misinterpreted as merely a rising tide of natural data usage growth, thus remaining hidden from the employee, mobile administrators and managers when, in fact, it is increasingly subsidizing individual excesses.
The opportunity to inadvertently misappropriate company funds presents itself daily and often goes unnoticed and that is why smart companies use automation and experts as a safeguard to protect their mobile assets. To learn more about how your company can avoid mobile device waste and abuse, and gain insight into market available contract provisions, visit us at www.mobilsense.com or call us at (888) 870-4250.