Motus Highlights Results of ‘Wireless Expense Management in 2021: New Challenges in a Mobile-First World’

Mobile device use across enterprise organizations has boomed in the wake of the pandemic, according to a report from Motus. With COVID-19 making remote work commonplace, wireless technology has helped businesses stay agile, maintain productivity, cust costs, and respond to employee needs. Manufacturing Close-Up dives into some of these key takeaways from the report, as well as the impact of switching to a “Mobile-First World.

Motus released a new report, “Wireless Expense Management in 2021: New Challenges in a Mobile-First World.” Motus provided the following report highlights:

The report examines the latest mobile device trends, their impact on wireless expense management, and how business leaders can control spend and maintain productivity for increasingly dispersed workforces.

According to the report, the shuttering of non-essential businesses and rapid shift to remote work led to an increased reliance on mobile devices. Organizations implemented enhanced telework policies to maintain operations, and their employees turned to their wireless devices to maximize efficiency. This resulted in a 200 percent surge in the use of business-related mobile applications and a 25 percent boost in mobile device screen time year-over-year – a significant jump from pre-pandemic screen time increases that averaged approximately 3–4 percent annually. The report also revealed many professionals resorted to using mobile hot spots to offset the strains that reduced home internet speeds, contributing to a near 20 percent spike in mobile data traffic.

“Mobile device use is at an all-time high, and much of that can be attributed to business professionals adjusting to the disruption caused by COVID-19,” said Ken Robinson, Market Research Manager at Motus. “The ability for businesses and their employees to leverage wireless solutions during the pandemic allowed them to remain agile and adapt to unforeseen challenges. While these were initially considered temporary fixes, our research points to this shift being more permanent.”

The sudden workplace paradigm shift left companies with limited options to support their mobile employees. Many empowered their teams by adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. With this, the report found productivity increased by 34 percent when workers can use their personal assets for business purposes – partly due to device familiarity. This uptick in productivity was seen across various industries, as 67 percent of corporate employees utilized a personal device for work in 2020.

Lifecycle management for corporate-provided devices has become increasingly difficult as organizations operate outside of a centralized office. One repercussion is abandoned assets proving to be a costly oversight. The average company-provided device is upgraded every 30 months. However, the legacy devices aren’t always shipped back to the employer. According to the report, the residual value of a phone at upgrade age is $207. Motus estimates the residual value of corporate-owned devices in 2020 totaled more than $4 billion. On top of upgrades, damaged devices – such as those with cracked screens – that need to be repaired or replaced can be difficult for businesses to retrieve. According to Motus, the residual value of these devices will reach $1.93 billion in 2021.

“Cost control is at the top of every IT department’s priority list in this economy. Our research indicates that many organizations are finding ways to enhance their device programs by leveraging BYOD,” said Robinson. “Implementing customized BYOD reimbursement calculations enables companies to optimize their wireless expense, easily scale up or down when necessary, and build momentum towards recovery.”


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