Wireless company policies help save costs

Companies practicing closer management of wireless services can save 10 to 35 percent of wireless costs over next five years, says Gartner.

Companies practicing closer policy management of their wireless services can save 10 to 35 percent of wireless costs over the next five years, according to Gartner.

In an analysis report, Phil Redman, Gartner research vice president, said enterprises should look across their IT operations for the different technologies and lines of business that access wireless services. These include devices such as smartphones and notebooks, as well as the networking infrastructure.

Companies should not limit wireless governance to just the networking of a telecoms group because wireless connectivity cuts across many lines of business, said Redman, noting: "A wireless solution should impact the security group, servers and messaging, application development, asset management, hardware, networking, and possibly other areas of IT."

The analyst also said top-down enforcement will ensure companies can best execute their policies. This should involve senior management approval of wireless policies and integrating these into business systems such as the company's ERP (enterprise resource planning) deployment.

He said companies could set up a central team to strategize a wide policy that is also unique to the company's setup, in order to achieve this savings on wireless costs.

Some areas to take into account for policymaking include defining the specific mobile user segments that have access to and are subsidized for wireless services, based on job function or title, he said.

The level of support to which IT is willing to commit is another area of consideration, as well as a profile of devices not permitted for security.

On security, acceptable user guidelines should be drawn up, with encryption and other security technologies enforced, said Redman.

In an earlier interview with ZDNet Asia, Redman estimated that 80 percent of businesses will overspend on wireless service costs by an average of 15 percent over the next five years.

According to another research firm IDC, almost 43 percent of enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region subsidize or sponsor their employees' devices.