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Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul

7 Ways To Help Your Employees Use Their Own Smartphones

Sharing the cost of mobile equipment and service can be cost-effective for companies of all sizes -- according to a new Forrester Research report.

Sharing the cost of mobile equipment and service can be cost-effective for companies of all sizes -- according to a new Forrester Research report.The study, Collaboration Needs Will Fuel A Smartphone Surge, by Ted Schadler with Matthew Brown, Brownlee Thomas PhD., Michele Pelino, and Peter Schmidt, basically says that the smartphone phenonmon has become unstoppable, and IT departments have no choice but to manage it as best they can.

The only remaining question, the authors ask, is who's going to pay for it?

The answer comes in the study's subtitle "The Surge Can Be Funded Through A Bring Your Own Smartphone Strategy."

In practice, that means a mix of "corporate-liable plans" and "personally liable plans," depending on the employees involved. "Our contention is that firms should consider a comprehensive funding model that includes corporate-liable plans for business-critical employees and shared personally liable plans for everybody else."

Don't Miss: All Mobile Users Are Not Alike, So Why Does Your Company Give Them All The Same Equipment And Service?

But that's only the begining, the report says. The authors also suggest creating and publishing a sliding scale for mobile cost reimbursement to help the business "own the decision about who should pay for what."

Finally, they offer 7 specific ways to support the smartphone surge:

1. "Establish a dual-use mobile strategy." Face the fact that smartphones are now used for both work and play.

2. "Subsidize plans for the 50% of iWorkers that need to be productive away from their desks. Dont feel like you have to fund data plans for the other 50%."

3. "Put collaboration, portal, and productivity applications at the top of the must mobilize list."

4. "Make policy the starting point for mobile information protection." Institute a policy-based approach to security (remote-wiping), ailbreaking, password, cameras and GPS.

5. "Invest in mobile device management and experience tracking systems."

6. "Outsource employee support to your fanatical users." But be sure to participate -- and establish a policy that forbids advice that breaks laws.

7. "Make reimbursing personally liable plans your mobile carriers problem too." The key is to find a way to negotiate rates based on on your total spend (yours and your employees).

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