After months of the market swinging towards a bring-your-own-device model (BYOD), the corporate-owned smartphone seems to be coming back into vogue.
According to Strategy Analytics, corporate smartphone purchases have experienced an uptick over the first nine months of 2013. This suggests an underlying shift in the way that companies are evaluating their mobile technology decisions. Total purchases are up 34 percent over a year ago, with 73 million businesses purchasing directly for their employees in the third quarter of this year.
In total, the market share for these sorts of phones jumped to 35 percent, an increase of 3 percent over this time last year, and 4 percent over the beginning of this one.
According to Kevin Burden, director of mobility at Strategy Analytics, this shift doesn't come as much of a surprise, since many managers are finding unique challenges to the employee-owned model. Usage policies can be difficult to scope out, and some issues continue to flare up. In addition, there isn't a strong financial incentive. Leif-Olof Wallin, research vice president at Gartner, explains the economic costs.
"More and more CIOs are starting to realize that BYOD projects aren't cheaper than corporate-owned devices. They are more likely 5 percent to 10 percent more expensive," Wallin said.
One constant across both smartphone strategies is the need for supporting technology insurance. Whether you are providing the devices or just the framework for how they should be used, proper coverage is an essential to protect the integrity of your data. If a phone is used to conduct business on behalf of your company, it's a part of the company, and you should have a policy that reflects that.