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So What’s Your Mobility TCO and Should You Care?

Who hasn’t heard the expression, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure?” Because you need to manage mobile computing in your enterprise, you’ve got to measure it. But just what do you measure? The cost of your devices? The cost of network bandwidth? How about mobile applications? Mobile management software? Lost and stolen devices? End-user support?

But costs are only half the equation. There are plenty of benefits to mobility, too.  There are increased hours worked, greater productivity on the road and better customer service. And how about higher employee morale? How do you measure that?

All this falls under the heading of total cost of ownership (TCO), a science (some might say a pseudo-science) that emerged in the mid-1990s when analysts sought to measure far more than the retail price of a PC in determining how much organizations were paying for them. TCO specialists turned over every rock. Remember the “futz factor?” That’s the time employees spend asking each other questions (and thereby eroding each other’s productivity) about how their desktop systems work – or don’t. Even that was assigned a number.

The problem with TCO measurements is that by their nature they focus on costs rather than benefits. If you add all the expenses up, you might come to the conclusion that mobility is costing you a bundle and the sooner you de-mobilize your organization, the better. But face it, that’s not going to happen – and it shouldn’t.

Rather than waste your time in TCO discussions – your time is valuable too, after all, and time spent measuring TCO is time not spent doing something else -- simply focus on enabling a high level of functionality for mobile users while attacking costs.

Start by enabling BYOD. Establish a list of approved devices and write clear policies. BYOD will take the cost of purchasing and insuring mobile devices off your accounts -- a savings right there. Then take a look at your software. It costs a lot to have different MDM, MAM and Mobile security software packages. Consolidate them. I suggest taking a close look at Citrix XenMobile. It delivers the management software you need and makes it simpler and less expensive to use. XenMobile can be hosted on-premise or in the cloud, which is worth considering from a TCO point of view. Because it’s in the cloud, you’ll have a monthly operating expense (OPEX), rather than a capital expense (CAPEX), which might work out better, depending on how you handle your financial accounting.

When a more comprehensive solution that secures and delivers all applications and data to any type of device is needed, consider Citrix Workspace Suite. It enables a portable, always-on, always-connected working environment that follows an employee, regardless of device or network, wherever he or she may go.

So, should you care about your mobility TCO? Yes, but you should do something about it rather than worry about it. Citrix technologies are a good place to start.

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