US businesses overspending more than $2.6bn per year on BYOD reimbursements

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Another day, another BYOD performance study: this time, from mobile platform and content services firm Syntonic, which argues that US businesses are overspending by the tune of more than $2.6 billion annually on BYOD reimbursements.

The report, titled ‘Syntonic 2016 Employer Report: BYOD Usage in the Enterprise’ and based on more than 400 executives polled, found that more than two thirds (69%) of respondents overall were actively reimbursing employees for work-related use of their personal devices, and around 60% of respondents overall had a formal BYOD policy in place.

Moreover, concerns remain over compliance, and the C-suite is undecided over which stakeholders should oversee BYOD programs, with 79% of CEOs saying they should manage the task compared to 73% of CIOs and 51% of CFOs, who believe the operation should either be overseen by the CIO or IT.

Syntonic argues the fears over compliance lead organisations to overcompensate with paying back. 36% of respondents said compliance was a key driver for reimbursement. The study also cites Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, a landmark ruling in August 2014 which ruled that companies should appropriately pay their employees if they have to make work calls on their personal phones.

Around half (47%) of companies which reimburse for BYOD pay a fixed monthly stipend, while a further 29% expect their employees to submit expense reports. The fees with processing reports, as well as calculating the correct amounts are cited as challenges.

Overall, the theme of the research was clear; enterprises need to get their houses in order, as the rise of BYOD, as regular readers of this publication will be all too aware, is here to stay.

“We were surprised by how much is being overpaid in reimbursement costs due to a sheer lack of awareness and pressure to comply with labour laws,” said Gary Greenbaum, co-founder and CEO of Syntonic. “It’s also clear from the survey that businesses are highly dependent on mobile data but remarkably lack understanding about how mobile data is being used within the enterprise.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, IT and CEOs/COOs (83% and 81% respectively) were more optimistic than CFOs (68%) about the growth of BYOD in the coming year.

 

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