There is plenty of uncertainty about the future of corporate IT. Some are even going as far as saying corporate IT will soon fade away. Others are calling for IT departments to stop throwing up roadblocks to productivity and shift their focus to enabling users to get more work done, more efficiently, from more places.
But we can be sure of one thing: The enterprise will not get less mobile.
Companies will continue to spend to equip their workers with smartphones and tablets, and the apps and coverage to transform them into powerful remote productivity tools. And users will continue to demand to use their personal devices for business — with all the support and security baggage that comes with them.
- According to an Insight Enterprises survey, 43 percent of CIOs and IT executives in 2016 believed their organizations should increase spending on mobile solutions.
- Worldwide spending on mobile devices, software, and service will climb to $1.85 trillion by 2019, says IDC, with huge chunks of that coming from industries like healthcare ($30 billion), services ($249 billion in the U.S.), and government ($30.6 billion).
So with the costs of mobility increasing, and corporate IT budgets staying more or less the same, IT directors like you are considering outsourcing the management of their growing mobile fleets to managed mobility services providers. But it might be unclear whether doing so will, in the long run, save money or cost more.
What Do Managed Mobility Services Cost?
As with any managed service, it depends on how much of it you need. Managed mobility services can include:
- Visibility and reporting tools.
- Cost analysis.
- Wireless policy development.
- Procurement and inventory management.
- Help desk and support.
- Carrier and invoice management.
Or, as is increasingly popular, all of the above.
Corporate IT departments are swamped with other responsibilities and their staffing levels are stagnating. Keeping up with rapidly-evolving mobile technology and supporting a wide range of devices and operating systems is a full-time job they just can’t cover.
“Mobility is not a core competency of many enterprises, and MMS allows businesses to stay focused on their core business, not the ‘plumbing’ of delivering, supporting, and managing mobility.” — The CEO of a managed mobility services firm.
So as you consider the costs of corporate mobility services, consider also the bandwidth it frees up for your IT team to work on more valuable tasks — as well as the higher quality service you’ll be receiving from a team that is able to focus 24/7 on wireless technology, tracking the day-to-day changes in the mobile landscape.A managed mobility services provider can also save you time and money by:
- Negotiating better carrier contracts.
- Slashing your international roaming charges.
- Reducing waste: missing or unused devices.
- Enabling a mobile workforce to work productively on a wide range of corporate-liable and BYOD devices.
The Cost of Corporate Mobility: By the Numbers
After interviewing several MMS vendors, Field Technologies magazine concluded, “The per-device cost incurred for in-house mobility management is as much as 20 to 40 percent higher than the cost for managed services.”
Our own experience backs this up. Every time we audit a potential client that is managing its own mobile devices, we discover at least tens of thousands of dollars in savings. It’s rare to find a company that would spend less managing mobility internally than outsourcing it.
The Field Technologies article does point out that companies with smaller fleets of devices — under 300 or so — can sometimes “muddle through” doing mobile device management on their own. But as mobile devices become the preferred productivity tool for an ever-growing number of enterprise users, muddling through won’t cut it for very much longer.
How do you fight against the rising cost of mobility management at your company? Share your tips with other IT directors in the comments section below.