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Wireless expense management is top CIO concern

Companies are putting more smartphones and tablets in the hands of employees to empower them to become more productive with greater remote access to enterprise data and networks. But it's obvious that many IT executives are doing so with a close eye on the budget.

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Wireless expense management is top CIO concern

cio, mobile expense management, android


One thing became clear quite quickly when a group of chief information officers from a variety of different organizations recently gathered at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, according to a recent TechTarget report. All demonstrated their priority for wireless expense management programs to keep the costs of mobility in line.

Companies are putting more smartphones and tablets in the hands of employees to empower them to become more productive with greater remote access to enterprise data and networks. But it's obvious that many IT executives are doing so with a close eye on the budget.

As the global economy continues to recover, maximizing scant investment dollars still takes precedence over all else, the TechTarget report showed.

"They know employees will have multiple devices. And they know that if they don't have a mobile policy in place, or have an existing policy that is too generous, it is really painful to get people to change their behavior," Forrester Research analyst Brownlee Thomas told the news provider.

Each quarter, Thomas said, she receives about 80 inquiries pertaining to enterprise mobility and mobile device management practices. About 75 percent of them are focused on ways companies can get the most out of their mobility spending.

According to TechTarget, some companies at the conference tried dealing with the problem by embracing a bring-your-own-device program, but even that is not completely effective. The unnamed CIO of a Boston-based financial services firm said employees still look to the company to pay the bills for personally owned devices.

"We found that when you leave people to their own devices, they rack up very large personal bills and try to bring them back to the company," he said, according to TechTarget.

To deal with the issue, the company dumped the BYOD plan and instead deployed a wireless expense management solution. He said it will also implement MDM software that will place restrictions on the usage of smartphones and tablets issued by the company.

In addition to the costs of mobile minutes and data plans, CIOs at the Gartner event also expressed their concerns for expensive mobile licensing, which bills the organization on either a per user or per device basis.

Consumerization is becoming increasingly prominent at companies as employees begin to use a variety of devices. According to a recent poll of Smallbiztechnology.com readers, 40 percent of respondents said they use an Android-based smartphone at work, 27 percent have an iPhone and 15 percent have a BlackBerry device.

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