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Mobile Devices Part 4: More Than Just the Device

There's a whole new world coming for the IT decision maker, and it isn't just which Android handset you're going to adopt as a corporate standard.

IT is increasingly coming under pressure to support the business' communications capabilities. In the past, this often meant being responsible for the office's broadband connection, and perhaps negotiating VoIP services. Now, wireless communications and data plans from cellular carriers are getting into the mix.

In some organizations, IT is already handling wireless carrier contracts, and it may have been doing so for some time. But for many companies (especially several clients I'm working with right now), the companies have never really paid for wireless service, or they've had a sort of informal arrangement with several employees to just pay all or part of the cellular phone bills. In some cases, the company will just negotiate special rates with a carrier, and offer those to employees as a sort of added benefit, while staying out of any ownership of the actual contracts.

But as mobile devices continue to become a formal, supported part of the IT landscape, organizations have to take on the heavy and often-confusing responsibilities of managing carrier contracts. And that means you're going to need to start being more informed. How much data do your employees use, on average? How many calls are they making? What sorts of applications are they running, and how will those affect their data usage?

Right now, most organizations have zero tools for answering those questions, and those organizations should stay away from carrier contracts for as long as they can. But you're going to need to get those tools, because the time likely will come that your organization will be paying for voice and data charges. When that day does arrive, you'll want to be informed.

What's your organization's take on wireless contracts? Do you provide them to employees now, or plan to do so in the future?

 

Posted by Don Jones on 10/21/2011 at 1:14 PM


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