Wireless Policies Can Save Enterprises up to 35 Percent, Says Gartner

Enterprises that get smart about managing wireless policies can save up to 35 percent on wireless costs, Gartner announced in a new report. The report offers a dozen guidelines for penning a policy and user requirements.

Enterprises that closely manage their wireless usage through smart, established policies can save 10 to 35 percent on wireless costs, Gartner announced in a Feb. 22 report.
Through 2014, 80 percent of Fortune 1000 companies are expected to move from individual-liability wireless plans to corporate-liability plans that pool together voice and data, Gartner says. However, currently many companies don't have thorough wireless usage policies in place - despite the increasing need created by growing mobile device adoption.
"Policies are a crucial way of managing complex services," Phil Redman, a research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. The reason for the lack of policies, Redman explained, is that unlike other IT policies, wireless tends to be brought in "through the back door," at the pressure of employees or segments of the business.
In creating a policy, Gartner encourages enterprises not to be limited to a networking or telecom group, but to "look across IT."
"A good method to ensure a strong policy is to incorporate a centralized team across IT that will be impacted by mobile and wireless decisions," said Redman. "Wireless policies don't' have to be large documents. Often the best, most-read and most widely adopted policies are brief and to the point."
Noting that the topic will be discussed at an upcoming Gartner summit in April, the report offered 12 guidelines for helping enterprises to establish policies. These include eligibility, or deciding who should receive subsidized service, which Gartner says can largely be decided by considering job title, job function and if a manager approves.
Another guideline regards how to support a range of devices, which Gartner encourages enterprises to have a firm hand with, listing "which devices they will not permit into the enterprise due to cost or security issues."
Other guidelines describe technical support, security, procurement procedures and personal versus corporate liability - in which case Gartner supports the latter, recommending that enterprises negotiate the services and take fiscal responsibility for the user.
In January, J. Gold Associates wrote in a research note that enterprises are still more likely to support BlackBerry handsets than iPhones and described enterprise iPhone adoption as a "long, slow burn rather than a tsunami."
Forrester Research, which expects smartphone adoption numbers to continue climbing until smartphones are in the hands of more than 70 percent of U.S. information workers, also recommended, in a Jan. 6 report, that enterprises better manage their wireless policies and fees.
The firm went on to say that it found that more enterprises offered corporate-liable plans to BlackBerry users, while iPhone users were more often on personally liable plans, in which the employee paid for some or all of the device's monthly bill.
The Gartner guidelines additionally include addressing mobile telephony expense procedures, maximum spending limits and creating an enterprise liability statement, in which details such as where employees may or may not use a device - such as while driving - are specified.