What’s the first device you check in the morning and the last one you look at before bed? If you’re a busy professional like me, it’s probably your smartphone. Chances are, that’s true for your entire organization as well, which is why upgrading your employees to a new smartphone in today’s mobile economy can have a greater impact on work efficiency and collaboration than ever before.

There’s a wealth of data out there that demonstrates how important phones are for work. In a study by Frost & Sullivan, workers estimated that smartphones boost their productivity by 34 percent, while saving nearly an hour of professional time and an hour of personal time each day. This was backed up by another survey we commissioned with GfK, in which mobile workers estimated they could get about half of their work done with only their smartphone. With these stats in mind, it’s obvious employees need to have powerful, multi-functional devices in hand for maximum productivity.

As a consumer, choosing a new phone is largely an emotional decision, but being strategic about upgrading as an organization means taking comprehensive stock of a device’s capabilities and potential lifespan. You need to consider factors such as screen size, battery life, security and device management capabilities, and more.

The thought process will vary, in part, based on whether you are planning an organization-wide deployment or have a BYOD policy that incentivizes employees to upgrade their personal devices. But, in either case, there are a few simple questions to answer as you build an economic argument to upgrade.

Will the Phone Make Work Easier?

Getting business done on the go is challenging enough without asking employees to use an outdated (read: inefficient) smartphone. If it’s taking 20 seconds longer every time a team member completes a task on their phone, and they are doing this 20 times a day, this adds up over the course of weeks and months to a significant opportunity cost.

For business users, function is often viewed as more important than form — but sometimes they are intrinsically tied together. With the Infinity Display on our new Galaxy S9 and S9+, you get a stunning edge-to-edge screen that is also stunning for multi-tasking. To take full advantage of it, we’ve created features like App Pair, which gives users the ability to launch two apps side-by-side with a single touch. Try it out; it’s a great time saver.

Processor performance and other core specs also matter — especially if you are looking to go “mobile-only,” as I’ll discuss more below. Think back two years to our Galaxy S7 edge device, which featured what was, at the time, a cutting-edge Quad-Core application processor and 32GB of storage, expandable up to 200GB. Our recently announced Galaxy S9 shows Moore’s Law is still holding true, featuring a 10nm Octa-Core processor, and 64GB of storage, expandable up to 400GB.

Considering the rapid pace of innovation, if your employees are using a two-year-old device or older, then they are missing out on some of these performance enhancements and productivity features.

Is the Phone More Secure?

From the enterprise point of view, a key reason for upgrading mobile devices is security. Security threats continue to evolve and the latest phones and security platforms offer greater protection.

Security is not only about protecting data — it’s also about mitigating costs. A single compromised device costs enterprises thousands of dollars — and what’s worse is that a single point of vulnerability can then be used by hackers to spread laterally within your network, resulting in much greater losses.

The critical question here is whether your devices are continuing to receive regular security updates. If they are not, it’s imperative to upgrade, especially for those accessing sensitive corporate data or valuable IP. If those smartphones are from a manufacturer that doesn’t provide security updates for an extended period, they’ll need to upgrade sooner.

Does the Phone Benefit Your Computing Ecosystem?

Obviously, the investment in a corporate mobile initiative is not something to take lightly, but you need to look beyond the initial price and carrier connectivity expenses in order to view the overall benefit and longer-term savings for your company. Issuing devices rather than adopting a BYOD policy significantly simplifies your mobile device management for a start, and also gives you the ability to take a more strategic approach to mobile apps that can support your digital transformation.

There is also increasing interest in the idea of “mobile-only,” where the smartphone replaces the laptop and becomes the primary computing device. This is the driving force behind our Samsung DeX platform, which allows users to dock their phone and create a desktop experience with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. If you have users who could forgo their laptops and work with a smartphone and DeX alone, this changes the economic calculus completely, not just when looking at acquisition costs but also at the reduction in device management needs.

Where Are You in the Upgrade Cycle?

Of course, a large part of the decision will be determined by where your company is in the upgrade cycle. If, for example, the company has been testing enterprise apps on last year’s model for the past six months, you might have concerns with jumping to the new model.

Likewise, for some companies, the feature set of an older device, combined with the price differiential, will tick all your boxes — especially if you’re deploying to several thousand employees.

However, by buying one year behind, you are losing out from a total product life cycle perspective. If you go with the new device at the time of launch, your employees get the latest features and can potentially get longer out of their smartphone, so you can maximize the investment.

How Easy Is It to Switch Devices?

There will always be hidden costs associated with managing a large device deployment, which is why, no matter which phone you choose, you should always look for what support and services are available.

At Samsung, we have several service offerings to help small and large organizations who are deploying new devices, as well as those looking for extended protection. If you are ready to make the transition, our team is here to help.

Learn more about the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+.