5 Hidden Costs of an HRMS BYOD Program

How much is the latest tablet, iPhone, smartphone? Hundreds per unit and even with a bulk business discount and a free replacement deal, giving the workforce the tools they need is expensive. And yet, no modern, scattered yet agile, socially collaborative, cutting edge enterprise can function without mobile technology. Frequently, the competitive advantage in HR comes from having your people equipped to function and perform anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Which is why (Bring Your Own Device) HRMS BYOD programs (and enterprise-wide programs) are so attractive. After all, if your people are providing the hardware, think how much you’re saving; you can plow that ‘extra’ budget back into product development, marketing, diversification and expansion, right? Well, that’s the surface truth but underneath your shiny BYOD initiative lurk a few hidden costs…

Hidden BYOD Costs #1: Data Plans and Tariffs

Who is paying for the data plan? Is it you, the employer or the device owner, the employee? It appears clearly unfair to ask the employer to use their own tablet/phone for your business and then ask them to pay for the calls and downloads, etc. However, it’s their personal device and do you really want to pay for their international calls to that cousin in Sydney, Australia? Some organizations go for a cost-sharing deal with the employee – seems fair but that brings another hidden cost: the time and trouble it takes to process each device user’s expense claim each month.

Hidden BYOD Costs #2: No Discounts

Put simply, as a business you have more negotiating muscle with providers. When you buy the hardware and/or data plan yourself, you can cut a much better deal than an individual employee who is effectively negotiating as a consumer.

Hidden BYOD Costs #3: Administration

Whether they belong to you or not, you need a management system for the devices in use – who has what and where, etc. Deployment and management is easier to carry out when you’re in complete control and there is uniformity of device. With HRMS BYOD access, someone in your IT department will be inputting and tracking a variety of individual device data and linking it all to the relevant employee record. Of course, you could use an employee self-service option to make the individual responsible for updating their own data but that’s just moving the cost to somewhere else in the organization.

Hidden BYOD Costs #4: Security

What data is being downloaded by whom and to what device and is that device equipped with the latest policy-compliant encryption and security protocols? Much easier questions to answer when you’ve bought a bulk order of identical phones and tablets. With HRMS BYOD access, you’ll have a mix of iOS and Android devices to monitor. Your hardware costs have been cut but now you need a multi-platform mobile device management solution and maybe other software too to manage mobile HRMS security.

Hidden BYOD Costs #5: Help Desk

Help desk support is so much easier when the different device models can be counted on one hand (or at most, two). Your IT department is still expected to offer technical support to employees but has far less control over who uses what and now has to be up to date with pretty much every device on the market. HRMS training also becomes more complex when employees are accessing the system on a multitude of devices. In-depth training and ongoing support are costs to an HRMS BYOD program which cannot be ignored.

Aberdeen Group research found that, even a couple of years ago, a BYOD program with a thousand devices was actually averaging an extra $170,000 per year. Clearly, as with any technical initiative, BYOD is about carefully balancing out the costs beforehand and not just jumping on the fashionable bandwagon.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall