Companies turning to hybrid mobile plans

Businesses are increasingly implementing bring-your-own-device programs to support enterprise mobility strategies, but they are also continuing to give some employees corporate-liable smartphones and tablets. This is creating an increasingly hybrid mobile environment that leads to considerable management challenges, a recent Xigo study found.

According to the survey, the majority of businesses are still using corporate-liable mobile plans. Approximately 60 percent of respondents said they support environments in which all mobile devices allowed for work functions are purchased and distributed by the company. In such a setup, all of the data plans are also paid for by the organization and bring your own device is not an option.

Approximately 10 percent of respondents said they were running exclusively BYOD programs and not handing out any corporate smartphones or tablets. Of all of the study participants supporting BYOD in any way, 52 percent have been doing so for more than two years.

While a significant number of organizations are either exclusively using BYOD or corporate-liable programs, roughly 22 percent of those polled said they support hybrid environments in which both corporate-liable devices and employee-owned smartphones and tablets are is use. In such setups, corporate-owned devices are generally given to employees with roles that demand mobility, while workers who may want mobile access, but not need it, are allowed to use their own devices.

Dave Spofford, CEO of Xigo, explained that the new hybrid mobile environment is creating a number of management challenges that have to be taken into consideration.

“This research shows just how important it is for enterprises to understand how mobile communications are being used within their organization,” said Spofford. “Managers need to understand and plan for the permanent mobile workforce in a way that doesn’t discourage good working habits – but at the same time keeps the cost structure under control.”

One way to better manage hybrid mobile environments is to employ business process management software that helps align data, technologies and procedures in an effective manner. With the right strategy, BPM solutions can ensure companies make the most of their technological systems and are able to use IT to create business-level improvements. In hybrid mobile environments, the added functionality and data creation capabilities can overwhelm employees, making it difficult for them to focus on best practices. BPM can help streamline data and device usage processes to enable better operations for end users.