Businesses are missing a trick when it comes to mobile devices

Companies may think they’re saving money with a BYOD approach to mobile devices, but there’s evidence to suggest otherwise, according to a new report from Samsung.

By surveying 500 executives and 1,000 employees of small and medium-sized businesses in the United States about mobile technologies in the workplace, Samsung found that only 15% of companies provide business smartphones to all their employees. For the vast majority (95%), the main barrier was cost.

The actual cost difference, however, is much smaller than one might think. According to the report, companies that adopt the BYOD approach pay an average allowance of $40.20 per month, to compensate employees who use personal phones for work. At the same time, the cost of mobile service plans for companies that issue smartphones is $42 per month on average.

Cheaper option? Or more expensive in the long run?

Factoring in the upfront cost of the device, as well as managing overhead and software, BYOD will save a company about $340 per employee each year. However, companies stand to lose a lot by not deploying their own smartphones either.

A third (34%) of BYOD-oriented companies believe they are behind in mobile maturity, more than double the rate of smartphone-issuing companies. BYOD companies are likely to deploy fewer business apps and see smartphones as less critical to agility and speed in decision-making.

BYOD companies also believe that mobile plays a lesser role in improving customer and employee satisfaction, and are more likely to leave mobile data and apps unprotected.

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Construction company employees and others working in the field, for example, will appreciate a rugged device that can withstand the elements and not break as easily as consumer devices.

Finally, Samsung claims that issuing smartphones can help the company grow and prevent employees from leaving for work elsewhere. For companies issuing smartphones, 53% reported growth of 5% or more over the past three years, which only 45% of BYOD-oriented companies can say, although it is difficult to prove causality in this case .

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