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Where's the BYOD Payoff?

Tom Kaneshige | April 25, 2013
Companies may be bleeding corporate dollars in the name of BYOD productivity gains that don't really exist, says Nucleus Research.

In another example, some companies embroiled in a class action lawsuit against AT&T Mobility stand to lose out on thousands of dollars because they can't participate in a $153 million settlement, says a source knowledgeable about the lawsuit. The reason is because they moved to BYOD.

There's also growing concern that BYOD will open the floodgates to employees suing their employers. Employees are questioning the intrusion of corporate eyes on their personal devices and wondering if companies are taking advantage of them through BYOD.

"I anticipate a bunch of little [lawsuits], then something big will happen that'll be a class action and become headline news," CEO John Marshall at AirWatch, an enterprise mobile device management (MDM) vendor with 6,500 customers, including Lowe's, United Airlines and Best Buy, told

What About Productivity Gains?

Nucleus admits BYOD productivity gains are a moving target-that is, they're hard to calculate. Of course, this hasn't stopped companies from trying to calculate the return on investment. Cisco says its BYOD saves the company $2 million per year.

Also, Intel claims to be saving 57 minutes a day for 23,500 BYOD employees. Since the chip giant makes about $500,000 per employee in a year, an hour savings a day per employee works out to around $700 million in added productivity.

"This is a difficult estimate to believe," says Park. "However, if true, a $700 million productivity increase is material to the business and should be considered by the investment community as a key differentiator."

A case for BYOD productivity can be made using a time-tracking model similar to Intel's. Let's say employees spend a day to set up their corporate-liable device, whereas no time at all (or at least not on company time) to set up a personal device.

Since employees in a profit center are expected to bring in around $250,000 per year, a day lost works out to be $1,000.

"This time lost is difficult to overcome based on the costs and benefits associated with BYOD versus a corporate-owned program," Park says.


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