Data caps and connectivity challenges hinder mobile workforce
3 min read
02 April 2013
While companies embrace BYOD, Wi-Fi challenges continue to affect advancements. Having to foot the bill of costly mobile data services, employees deliberately limit their data consumption.
The corporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend that allows employees to leverage their own personal devices for work, continues to grow. While there are plenty of stories hyping the movement, there are some under-reported aspects of BYOD that will impact your business if you are not prepared. Connectivity issues linked to BYOD deployments are impacting productivity in the workplace, according to iPass’s latest Mobile Workforce Report.
The report interviewed 1,600 mobile workers across the globe to learn more about the mobile devices they use, how it effects their lives and the cost of mobility.
Although mobile workers have access to technologies that allow them to work from anywhere, more than half of respondents stated they have problems connecting to Wi-Fi networks in locations such as airports, airplanes and hotels.
Mobile workers often experience limited and frustrating connectivity choices: an expensive one-time W-Fi “day pass” or costly mobile data services.
As workers increasingly use their own devices, they are more likely to focus on the cost than if someone else was paying the bill. Less than half of mobile workers agree that excessive charges and restrictions in monthly plans are forcing them to limit their data usage. This is expected, however, as less workers have access to unlimited data plans.
The report shows that a quarter of respondents expanse back their mobility costs, while 54 per cent pay for a Wi-Fi roaming plan. Even with all these challenges, however, Wi-Fi remains the connectivity option of choice for nearly two thirds of all respondents.
Mobile workers are becoming more cautious about exceeding data caps and deliberately limit their data usage. This definitely impacts performance and hinders productivity. If a mobile worker bumps up against a data limit, they will use the device less for work related purposes.
Evan Kaplan, chief executive officer of iPass said: “Clearly, enterprises that provision mobile workers with devices, or leverage a BYOD strategy, need to ensure that workers can connect when and where they want, and work on-the-go as cost-effectively and productively as possible.”
In the report, iPass highlights a question pertaining to how much data workers consumed on their smartphones. In 2012, 30 per cent simply didn’t care. That number has dropped to 17 per cent in 2013, showing that people are definitely paying more attention to their data consumption. No matter the difficult circumstances, over half still believe that their personal devices should be enabled for work purposes.
The incurring costs of mobility is something for the enterprise to consider as part of their BYOD policy, making sure BYOD doesn’t inadvertently limit productivity because of data costs borne by the employee.