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Enterprise Mobility is a Budget Buster

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Issuing employees iPhones and Android smartphones is one of instilling a culture of on-the-go productivity. But with the benefits of getting work done practically anywhere, comes at a price, often a steep one.

Forrester, in a survey of 303 business decision makers commissioned by Cisco, found that the vast majority of enterprises, nearly 90 percent, ending up with overage charges on their bills each year. Lacking real-time usage tracking and visibility during billing cycles, businesses resort to billing disputes to try to adjust their bills, causing a headache for both customers and their wireless providers.

Worse, some companies are paying for cellular service that they never use. Nearly 20 percent of corporate-owned devices go completely unused.

In general, corporate mobile subscriptions and overages take up a third (33 percent) of an organization's mobility budget. Much of the rest is devoted to staff tasked with managing mobile device fleets that can number in the thousands, along with managed mobility services and telecom expense management tools meant to keep costs in check.

"The Forrester report sheds light on the greater need to address total cost of ownership when handling enterprise mobility management, rather than solely focusing on the monthly telecom bill," said Pallavi Vanacharla, head of Product Marketing, Enterprise Mobility at Cisco IoT. "The combination of manual processes, unpredictable subscription fees, and device tracking issues demands that enterprises rethink their approach to mobility management," continued the Cisco executive.

Unless addressed, those issues can become bigger problems down the road.

Last month, IDC predicted that worldwide mobility hardware, software and services spending would reach $1.58 trillion in 2017 and $1.72 trillion in 2021. Mobile connectivity services will be the biggest money-maker ($950 billion) in that year, followed by hardware and software.

Although consumers will account for most of the total haul (70 percent), businesses will play an important role in propelling the industry forward, particularly banks, professional services firms and construction companies.

"A highly mobile, on-the-go workforce is a key driver of mobility in both the professional services and construction industries," said Jessica Goepfert, program director of Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC. "User expectations are high within professional services, as they depend on mobile solutions to enable and create exceptional and memorable client interactions and experiences. In construction, which is typically slow to change, we are seeing mobility implementations with the goal of streamlining project administration."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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