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Business today is mobile. And managing devices throughout their lifecycles adds up to a major cost. But in-house management is often more expensive than it appears as, like an iceberg, many costs are hidden. As the business absorbs these extra costs, in-house device management can look better value than it actually is. So, which costs should be ringing alarm bells?

Mobile spend is a hefty proportion of the average IT budget. In 2014, large enterprises spent 25% on mobility products. By 2018, the figure will be 40%, according to IDC.

It’s a simple equation: more mobile devices mean more time, money and effort to manage them. Or maybe not...

Managed services challenge the accepted wisdom that more means more. In fact, more can be less when switching from in-house to a service like Vodafone’s Device Lifecycle Management. Less cost, less hassle and less admin.

Mind the iceberg

With in-house device management, cost transparency is often a problem. Below the surface, there are many hidden costs of managing a fleet of devices yourself, including:

  • Operational costs – the logistics of getting devices from A to B add up
  • Internal rate of return – upfront costs that impact your cash flow
  • Finance and inventory management – device management creates a stack of paperwork for your finance and procurement teams
  • Tax implications – ditto – even more work for your colleagues in finance
  • Replacement – the urgency eats up money, time and resources, plus the longer a replacement takes, the greater the impact on employee productivity
  • Environmental disposal – consider the absolute minimum cost of having to dispose of one device per employee per year

Visibility is crucial for control. That’s why understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile devices is vital to drive down costs, but it’s not the only way.

Beyond TCO

There are other steps you can take to ensure mobile device management is as cost-effective as possible:

1) Centralise procurement
With a centralised order process, you can streamline device management – especially for complex, multinational deployments. This will also give you the widest choice and access to the latest and greatest smartphones and tablets, no matter where your teams are based.

2) Seek the specialists
As your mobile estate grows, it’s more complex to manage and creates a lot of lower-value tasks. Looking to a third-party provider can take away the admin burden from your teams, ensuring more variety and higher-value workloads.

3) Pay for it your way
Until now, the traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) procurement model has been the default. However, more flexible operating expenditure (OPEX) options are challenging this ownership model – and are also providing big business savings. Some of these models, such as Vodafone Device Lifecycle Management, allow you to spread-out payments over several years and eliminate upfront costs, which helps maintain a steady cash flow. There are other advantages to OPEX payments too. First, they are considered as operating expenses which make them tax deductible. And, secondly, OPEX models avoid the risk of investing in technology that might soon become outdated.

To find out more about the true costs of mobile device management and how a managed service can help you stay on top of costs, get in touch.

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