Businesses in the U.S. are overspending an estimated $2.6 billion on the bring your own device (BYOD) programs, says a study from mobile platform services provider Syntonic.
Enterprises both big and small have embraced BYOD as a means of staying at the forefront of the mobile productivity scene while keeping costs manageable. Syntonic's study reveals that at many businesses, BYOD is a drain on their finances.
Syntonic 2016 Employer Report: BYOD Usage in the Enterprise, a survey of 409 executives conducted by ISG, reveals that most organizations (69 percent) with a BYOD policy reimburse employees for conducting work on their personal smartphones. One of the top reasons businesses are instituting BYOD reimbursement programs is compliance (36 percent) to labor laws, like the California's Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service.
In the wake of that court case, California employers are required to pay their workers for a part of their cell phone expenses if they are used for work-related calls. Syntonic's study found that 45 percent of all CEOs polled by the firms were "extremely concerned" about the outcome of that case and the precedent it set. Twenty-nine percent of all companies aren't aware of their compliance obligations in states like California and Massachusetts that require companies to reimburse their employees.
Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) said they offer their employees a fixed monthly stipend to cover BYOD costs. Twenty-nine percent require that their workers manually calculate the amount they are owed and submit an expense report.
Billing clarity is lacking, argues Syntonic. On average, employers are shelling out $71.40 per employee each month. Thirty-two percent admitted that calculating the correct BYOD reimburse amount is a challenge. Half of all respondents believe that split-billing software can improve visibility into how their employees use their smartphones.
"BYOD is quickly becoming an established policy in the enterprise with nearly 81 percent of companies in the United States supporting BYOD today or planning to within the next 12 months, as identified by our survey," said Gary Greenbaum, co-founder and CEO of Syntonic, in a statement. "However, the results also indicate that business leaders are struggling to keep up with both the technical and corporate implications of BYOD. 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."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.