Survey: Firms Struggle With BYOD Overspending

New research from Syntonic and Information Solutions Group finds that use of bring-your-own-device strategies are common, but that organizations struggle with distinguishing personal phone uses from business-related uses.

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has been around long enough that its problems are starting to show.

The biggest one? The costs are really hard to rein in. That’s the finding of a recent report from mobile services provider Syntonic, which states that overspending was common when it came to the reimbursements for such programs.

The survey of 409 C-level executives, conducted by Information Solutions Group on behalf of Syntonic, found that, overall, American businesses overspend on such reimbursements by $2.6 billion dollars each year. Despite that, such programs are popular—with 69 percent of respondents saying they were actively reimbursing employees. The study also found that 77 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in the use of personal smartphones for work reasons over the next 6 to 12 months.

Part of the issue, according to the report, involves increasing concerns over regulatory compliance issues—compliance was cited as a primary reason for BYOD use by 36 percent of respondents to the survey. Some states, including California and Massachusetts, require employers to reimburse workers who use their personal cell phones on the job. A legal decision in California, Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, may be playing a part, argues Syntonic: The ruling mandates that employers reimburse workers who are required to use their personal smartphones for work purposes, but employers are overspending on such payments in a rush to comply with the ruling.

While other firms have suggested bringing the BYOD process in-house—an approach called choose your own device (CYOD)—Syntonic argues for a middle ground, pointing out the existence of technology to separate personal calls from work-related ones, an approach called “split billing.” However, 41 percent of respondents were unaware of the approach.

“We were surprised by how much is being overpaid in reimbursement costs due to a sheer lack of awareness and pressure to comply with labor laws,” Syntonic Cofounder and CEO Gary Greenbaum noted in a news release. “It’s also clear from the survey that businesses are highly dependent on mobile data but remarkably lack understanding about how mobile data is being used within the enterprise. And, while there may be a difference of opinion on internal BYOD ownership, the good news is that program adoption continues to grow.”

The full study can be downloaded at the Syntonic website.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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