Skip Links

Is 'carrier bill shock' IT's problem? Absolutely

By Custie Crampton, VP of product management at Tangoe, special to Network World
April 16, 2012 02:19 PM ET

Network World - This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.

The new iPad with 4G LTE support raises questions about how to control usage costs, with some arguing IT should enforce real-time device monitoring to prevent fees from spiking when employees are on the road and, say, stream Netflix movies, while others argue this is a management issue not an IT problem.

What isn't debatable is the fact that mobile "bill shock" is a serious issue further complicated by the bring your own device (BYOD) trend and the looming end of unlimited data plans. An Aberdeen Group survey reports that the average bill for employees who roam internationally is $255 per month, compared to the $84 that domestic employees accrue. Multiply that one bill by the number of devices deployed in your organization and the numbers get scary.

ANALYSIS: Can employee-owned devices save companies money?

BYOD: There is no stopping employees' devices on your network

Think that's a problem IT can ignore?

Carriers are changing the rules and eliminating unlimited data plans. Combine that with roaming charges that can take five months to appear and companies may be hit with fees when it is too late. With the right tools you can enforce policy compliance. Here's how to take control.

* Mobile policy management: Policy management is often the critical path to scale your device and control expectations across hundreds or hundreds of thousands of devices. The lack of a robust mobile policy can mean trouble, from financial -- "cost creep" due to limited control of device types, rate plans, and ownership -- to risks involving governance, confidentiality provisions, etc. Aside from the standard benefits of mobile policy management (greater control of spend, visibility into inventory, usage control, etc.), organizations with strong policy management gain greater data protection and security. [Also see: "Debate rages over how to manage personal mobile devices used for work"]

You also want to have automated responses generated in real-time by a "rules engine" for when the device is out of compliance. For instance, if the device OS is out of date or an application requires a patch. Another example is detecting if the device is either jailbroken or rooted. Automated multi-step responses can include customized notifications and alerts (respective to the compliance criteria), feature/function changes such as disabling data communication when roaming, or contact from the help desk should an alert be received.

Once the groundwork is laid for your mobile policies, it is important to update them regularly. With new devices and applications coming out in unprecedented numbers, it is more critical than ever to constantly evolve your mobile policies to ensure that employees have select access to certain applications. If an employee has the freedom to download any streaming application, that could accumulate unnecessary fees.

Our Commenting Policies
Latest News
rssRss Feed
View more Latest News