Feeds

BYOD will cost a packet, warn experts

HTML5 touted as way to keep app dev costs down

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Enterprise mobility experts have warned IT managers not to enter bring your own device (BYOD) programs with cost reduction in mind, arguing that application development and support costs can quickly get out of hand if not strictly controlled from the start.

IDC VP Tim Dillon told attendees at the analyst’s Asia Pacific Enterprise Mobility Conference 2012 in Hong Kong that around 40 per cent of the region’s workforce, or nearly 840 million employees, could be termed ‘mobile workers’.

However, while following the consumerisation of IT trend and allowing the use of personal devices at work can boost productivity and improve staff satisfaction, IT managers should not be looking at BYOD programs as a cost cutting exercise, he argued.

First there are the data and connectivity costs of such devices, which will be billed back to work and could end up higher than previously centralised corporate mobile set-ups, then there are hidden support costs, said Dillon.

“Many organisations say they won’t support these devices but please don’t take a no-support policy,” he warned.

“Everyone knows someone in the IT team and despite the belief that IT doesn’t help, many of these people will help. Support costs will escalate if not factored in from the start.”

Dillon emphasised the importance of IT bosses formulating holistic and proactive BYOD policies based around the rule that the employee gets to choose the device, from a shortlist, but that it is enterprise-supported.

Ted Suen, head of IT at subway firm MTR Corporation, added that IT teams also need to be fairly prescriptive about what platform and software version the device is running to avoid getting into “big trouble” on the support front.

He also pointed to the fragmented and dynamic mobile ecosystem as providing a particular technical challenge for IT.

“The strategy I suggest you think about and the one we're following at MTR is not putting all your legacy applications onto the mobile platform,” Suen said. “Select the business processes which have good business value for going mobile.”

Apps dealing with things like workflow, executive information and KPI dashboards probably fit the bill here, he explained.

Other key elements which could increase cost and complexity and should be factored in from the start include on-going app support, maintenance and development.

Not only is the lifecycle of mobile apps significantly shorter than that of legacy enterprise applications but costs are pushed higher if in-house or outsourced developers have to write for different versions or forks of Android, argued Dillon.

Even iOS apps may need to be re-written and optimised for the different screen sizes of iPhone, iPad and now the latest, higher res, fondleslab.

“For every change you need to make in Android it costs $50,000 in developer time,” he said.

“The cost and skills shortage is leading app developers to look at HTML5. I think it will become almost like a third OS.” ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.