Why BYOT (for tablet) pays off for enterprise IT

Recent technology forecasts indicate that growth in tablet shipments is slowing dramatically as these mobile devices struggle to find a place in the digital arsenal of consumers.

Much of the slowdown in unit shipments can be attributed to the buying cycle for tablets, which more closely resembles that of personal computers (every three years or so) than smartphones (two years, tops).

But that hardly means tablets are going away, which should be good news for budget-conscious IT departments (which, of course, essentially means all IT departments). Gartner recently reported that IT can support nearly three times as many users in tablet BYO programs than in enterprise-owned tablet programs.

“IT leaders can spend half a million dollars to buy and support 1,000 enterprise-owned tablets, while they can support 2,745 user-owned tablets with that same budget,” said Federica Troni, research director at Gartner. “Without a stipend, direct costs of user-owned tablets are 64 percent lower.”

For CIOs trying to get more mileage out of their IT dollars, shifting tablet purchasing costs to employees is a clear win. Not so much with smartphones, however. Gartner reports that smartphone BYOD programs “have a total cost of ownership that is very similar to those of enterprise-owned smartphones.”

While that may be true overall, the TCO of smartphone BYOD depends in large part on whether the enterprise picks up the cost for voice and data plans.

A good BYOD program model also should serve one primary goal rather than multiple goals, Gartner says. So a program whose primary goal is user satisfaction may be structured differently than one that strives for cost reductions.

In BYOD, there is no One Size Fits All. There’s only What Works For You.

 

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