Mobility Spend and The Impact on IT Budgets

IT budgets are always a controversial topic with many businesses being reliant on their IT systems but unwilling (or unable) to invest heavily in new or updated technology.

The sense of optimism that is present in businesses currently suggests that IT budgets will remain the same or even increase over the course of the next year – but what is the driving force behind this?

Out with the old…

From the early 90s onwards the most common setup for businesses was the client-server system with in-house fileservers allowing users to share files and data across their desktop machines. Laptops and wireless systems began to expand this system, and the advent of fast internet and mobile devices including phones, tablets and other devices created a paradigm shift.

For IT budgets this often meant that new devices were added to the business and the older devices were left to carry on as always.

While executives were carrying around the latest tablet and smartphone, back at the office other employees were struggling with outdated and slow computers.

…And in with the new

To counter this trend, three strategies can be adopted. The first is to simply exchange the older hardware for newer, faster replacements. Simple and straightforward, but not necessarily as beneficial as it could be, and becoming the least popular option.

The second option is to choose mobile devices to complement or replace the existing hardware. Many business models can be effectively managed through the use of laptops, phones, and tablets, and choosing such devices will allow employees to work from almost anywhere.

The third option is to implement a BYOD strategy where employees bring their own devices to work.

The Effect on IT budgets

Mobility spend is taking up a larger and larger portion of IT budgets year after year. As consumers become more reliant on mobile technology to keep them connected at all times, businesses need to adopt a similar reliance on mobility to service these always-on customers.

While BYOD can be successful, there are sometimes concerns related to security within some business models, and company-owned devices may be preferred. In all cases, cloud connectivity can play a vital role in mobility, but the constant need for data synchronization will have an effect on data usage which in turn could increase bills.

Enterprise mobility is desirable and beneficial but the effect of increased purchasing of suitable devices and the need for data-heavy connections will reduce the amount that can be dedicated in the budget for other areas, e.g. data center systems, general IT services, etc. And the requirement for dedicated support for these devices will only increase over time.

This is a cost that many businesses are willing to pay in order to better serve their customers, but choosing to outsource many of these tasks to a mobility management company will relieve the pressure on any in-house IT department, as well as keeping bills in check through the usage of mobile device management (MDM) software and techniques.