Can $3,200 In BlackBerry Costs Yield $29,000 In Benefits To Your Enterprise?

By  Susan Nunziata — October 05, 2009

An enterprise can expect to spend an average of $1,056 to $1,233 per BlackBerry per year, according to a report released by Boston-based Forrester Research on Sept. 30, 2009.

The report, "The Economic Impact of a BlackBerry Solution in North American Enterprises" was commissioned by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. 

According to the report, the benefits achieved by deploying BlackBerry smartphones and associated mobile applications to support the needs of business users far outweigh the costs. The three-year benefits per device range from $20,919 to $101,614 depending on the stage of deployment in which an enterprise finds itself, according to Forrester.

Employees in sales, field service and executive management roles achieve the greatest increases in productivity from using BlackBerry devices and applications.

Nearly eight in 10 North American enterprises (78%) are using BlackBerry devices, according to Forrester.

Which of the following handheld operating systems does your firm's IT department officially support and manage?

 Operating System  Percent Respondents
 BlackBerry  78%
 Windows Mobile  41%
 Apple iPhone  23%
 Windows CE  18%
 Palm OS  17%
 Linux    5%
 Android    2%
 Symbian    2%
 Don't Know    2%
Base : 302 IT decision-makers with mobile decision authority at North American enterprises with 1,000+ employees.
Note: Multiple responses accepted; these numbers do not represent market share numbers for each operating system
Source: Forrester Research, "Enterprise and SMB Networks and Telecommunications Survey, North American & Europe, Q1 2009."

The report categorizes enterprises in three broad stages of mobile solution maturity: reactive deployment, proactive deployment and integrative deployment.

According to the study, reactive-stage organizations deploy BlackBerry smartphones to CXO's, managers, and sales personnel, and implement basic mobile applications such as email, calendar, and personal information management (PIM).

Organizations in the proactive stage deploy BlackBerry smartphones and mobile applications to a broader range of employees including customer service and support and IT personnel in addition to the executives and sales personnel.

Companies in the integrative deployment stage view mobility solutions as key strategic initiatives and have widely deployed BlackBerry smartphones and mobile solutions to a broad array of employees in the enterprise. 

Sales, field service and executive managers working at organizations in the reactive can save an average of one to two hours per week by using BlackBerry devices, according to the report. Sales personnel at enterprises that are in the integrative deployment stage stand to improve their productivity by 13 - 21 hour per week.

Forrester constructed a TEI framework to be used by enterprises with 1,000 plus employees that are considering BlackBerry solution deployment. The objective of the TEI framework is to identify the cost, benefit, flexibility, and risk factors that impact the investment decision.

Forrester employed four fundamental elements of the TEI methodology to model the BlackBerry solution impacts:
  1. Costs: Forrester included all direct and indirect costs to acquire, support and maintain BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Server solutions.
  2. Benefits: Forrester quantified typical hard and soft benefits of deploying BlackBerry smartphones and solutions among business users and IT executives.
  3. Risk: Forrester's analysis captures the uncertainty in the cost and benefits estimates to reflect challenges associated with large scale IT investments (e.g. BlackBerry solution deployment).
  4. Flexibility: Forrester also evaluated potential financial investments in the form of expanded deployment to gain business agility and other benefits at some additional cost.
Costs of BlackBerry Solution Deployment Captured In The TEI Analysis
(Per Device Per Year At Enterprises In Three Deployment Stages)
 Cost Category  Reactive  Proactive  Integrative
 BlackBerry Enterprise Server
 $48   $100  $45
 BlackBerry smartphones
 $639  $739  $741
 User support
 $66-$73  $71-$75  $171-$206
 End user training  $62-$77  $231-$254  $240-$289
 Voice & data plans  $2,389  $2,459  $2,079
 Mobility Applications  $0  $72  $193
 Total three-year cost per BlackBerry smartphone  $3,168-$3,200  $3,672-$3,699  $3,470-$3,552
 Average annual cost per BlackBerry smartphone  $1,056-$1,067  $1,224-$1,233   $1,156-$1,184
Source: Forrester Research
Benefit Category Comparison Across BlackBerry Maturity Deployment Stages
(Per Device Per Year At Enterprises In Three Deployment Stages)
 Benefit Category  Reactive  Proactive   Integrative
 Enhanced business efficiency  $16,736-$22,638  $23,798-$33,877  $35,506-$64,780
 Improved regulatory compliance  $2,336-$4,672  $6,465-$10,775 
 Reduced mobile security costs  $1,675-$1,861
 $3,157-$3,946  $5,112-$7,303
 Workflow benefits   $76-$103   $507-$724  $5,310-$9,697
 Cost-avoidance benefits  $95   $276  $541
 Total three-year benefit per BlackBerry smartphone $20,919-$29,371 $34, 203-$49,598  $59,974-$101,614
 Average annual benefit per BlackBerry smartphone $6,973-$9,790 $11,401-$16,533 $19,991-$33,871
Source: Forrester Research

The report also explores the expanding nature of mobile applications in the enterprise. While the vast majority of enterprises (82%) are planning to implement or expand their use of wireless email, about quarter of respondents are also considering emergency/critical response apps, inventory management apps and/or sales force applications. About one fifth are planning to implement or expand their use of field service apps, customer-facing apps or logistics apps.

What Are Your Firm's Plans To Implement Or Expand Its Use Of The Following Mobile Applications?
 Applications  % Respondents
 Wireless email or BlackBerry  82%
 Personalized contacts and calendar  32%
 Emergency/critical response applications  25%
 Inventory management  25%
 Sales force applications  24%
 Field service applications  21%
 Customer-facing applications  20%
 Logistics applications   18%
 Enterprise asset management  17%
 Location-based applications (asset tracking, GIS, AVL)  15%
 Mobile printing  15%
Base: 302 IT decision-makers with mobile decision authority at North American enterprises with 1,000+ employees.
Note: multiple responses accepted)
Source: Forrester Research, "Enterprise And SMB Networks And Telecommunications Survey, North America And Europe, Q1 2009."

About The Methodology
To quantify the total economic benefits and impact of deploying BlackBerry devices to employees, Forrester says it used a multi-faceted research approach that included quantitative surveys and qualitative discussions with mobility decision makers to determine the range of economic costs, benefits and ROI impacts of deploying BlackBerry enterprise solutions.

Sources of information used to calculate these ranges include:
  • quantitative interviews with 150 IT and mobile decision-makers working in enterprises headquartered in North America with a minimum of 1,000 employees;
  • qualitative interviews with mobility decision-maker stakeholders;
  • in-depth discussions with enterprises that have deployed BlackBerry smartphones; and
  • Forrester knowledge and expertise related to enterprise mobility trends and initiatives in North America.
To download a PDF of the full report, click here.


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