Enterprises are Spending How Much Per Month on Each Mobile Employee?

By  Mike Cole — August 23, 2010

According to a survey from mobile services provider iPass, enterprise mobility spending is growing "exponentially" and "with no end in sight."

Enterprises, according to the iPass report, are spending an average of $120 a month per mobile employee, with few companies conducting mobile connectivity cost audits.

Because many of the costs are hidden in departmental budgets and expense reports, most businesses can only estimate what they spend on mobile connectivity, iPass says in the recently published white paper, "What You Need to Know About the Costs of Mobility".

Mobility budgets are departmental for 30 percent of enterprises, and mobile connectivity cost audits are done rarely, if ever, according to iPass. As the mobile workforce continues to grow, so do costs, and most companies are not prepared to manage the impact, iPass concluded.

Ownership of multiple devices, an increasing number of apps for smartphones and devices that are eating up bandwidth, and employees using devices with different types of connectivity, are dynamics that are only expected to grow as the mobile workforce increases, iPass noted.

iPass concluded that if mobility costs are to be reigned in, enterprises need greater visibility into what the specific charges are and develop the ability to contain the costs by implementing policies such as automated enforcement, and centralizing control of mobile users.

iPass said enterprises need to establish their own comprehensive mobility services, which it said "can change the economics of mobility by enabling carrier independence, containing high connectivity costs, lowering end user support costs and reducing the burden of mobility administration."

The report noted that opportunities for cost reductions can be found by avoiding international roaming charges, reallocating 3G cards that are underutilized and by managing usage-based carrier pricing by gaining visibility into actual consumption and cost patterns.

Armed with detailed data on per-user charges for 3G service, iPass said, companies "are ideally positioned to extract favorable terms from their carriers at contract time."

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