Every enterprise seems to have a slightly different approach to mobile — from Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to Corporate-Owned, Business-Only (COBO), and everything in between. But there is one thing most organizations agree on: enabling employees to do their work from a smartphone is a must. Modern work is mobile work.

Oxford Economics surveyed 500 executives in early 2018 to better understand the costs and benefits of different ways of providing mobile devices to workers, and the outcomes of those strategies.

Almost eight in 10 of those surveyed agreed that employees could not do their jobs effectively without a mobile phone, while more than 60 percent said employees were expected to be available remotely, even if they didn’t receive a corporate-issued phone.

The study underscores the unquestionable value that mobility provides to enterprises in boosting innovation, promoting collaboration and driving revenue growth, but more significantly it shows how business decision-makers may be taking a short-sighted view of their investment in mobile.

BYOD or Corporate-Issued Phones?

Just 17 percent of enterprises today provide smartphones to all employees, while 31 percent provide devices to no employees and instead rely entirely on BYOD. Much of this is due to the belief that BYOD saves money for the enterprise.

However, the Oxford Economics’ total cost model and supporting mobile cost calculator shows that BYOD results in only modest savings — roughly 11 percent for a 10,000 employee enterprise. This is because, on average, BYOD organizations are spending nearly as much on employee mobile stipends as others are on devices and connectivity costs, while costs for mobile device management (MDM) overheads and software costs are also surprisingly close.

What Approach Drives the Greatest Business Value?

When it comes to the perceived business value derived from mobile, pure-play BYOD companies are the least satisfied. Across the board, they are less confident that their mobile strategy is supporting collaboration and communication, access to work critical information and the performance of everyday business responsibilities.

That’s not to say that providing a corporate smartphone to every employee always makes sense either. In fact, according to the Oxford Economics analysis, those who see the greatest benefit are taking a more nuanced approach — focusing on key employee groups who will most benefit from mobile for their focused mobile initiatives.

For deeper insights, download the full Oxford Economics report, “Maximizing Mobile Value: Is BYOD Holding You Back?” or use the Mobile Cost Calculator to compare your total mobile investment with the industry average.