More and more industries are mobilizing their workforces. From nurses passing information to their colleagues via secure messaging as they change shifts, to police officers replacing paper notebooks with more efficient, secure digital counterparts, today’s mobile phones are portable enough and powerful enough to get the job done.
Yet consumer versions of these phones, traditionally sold by carriers in the United States, are often unsuited for these very specific enterprise needs. Businesses may require custom software and configuration tools. They may need additional services that can continuously support and update to enterprise applications. And, if they have offices in multiple locations, they may need to implement a multi-carrier strategy.
Instead of working with traditional deployments that offer subsidized devices in exchange for a two-year fixed contract, enterprise organizations are solving these IT pain points by turning to unlocked devices offered from mobile device manufacturers. With unlocked devices, businesses pay the unsubsidized cost of the phone upfront, choose the carrier of their choice and then manage the device internally.
With customization and additional services, unlocked devices offer simplified deployment and management options that help IT admins efficiently configure and manage enterprise devices, and offer continuous support and updates for the full lifecycle of the product. These benefits enable businesses of any size, in any industry, to manage and secure the mobile environment while providing employees with a device that they love.
No wonder the number of unlocked device shipments in the enterprise is expected to nearly double from 2017 to 2021.
Why are so many businesses making the switch? Here are the top five reasons why an unlocked phone deployment may be the solution to your enterprise mobility needs:
1. Your employees require extreme flexibility
Since carrier networks vary significantly from place to place, the best service provider in one area may offer little to no service in another. For employees who travel extensively or work out of field offices, this is an inconvenience at best. At worst, it can prevent them from communicating with colleagues, speaking with clients, or accomplishing other productivity tasks. Unlocked phones avoid these challenges by giving employees the flexibility to pick the carrier that best suits their needs. They even allow employees to leverage pay-as-you-go service plans when travelling.
2. Your enterprise mobile needs may not call for cellular data at all
If you have the ability to customize your unlocked phones in a highly secure, encrypted and containerized way, an internal Wi-Fi network may give you all the connectivity you need. Not only does this save you costs, since you’re not using a carrier mobile plan, it also could be more secure if you leverage the right security and development solutions.
3. You need all the space you can get
Unlocked phones include fewer pre-installed apps and software than the phones on traditional mobile service plans. This frees up more space on the device for productivity tasks, like downloading enterprise-specific apps, recording videos when in the field, or storing important documents when on the road.
4. You need to tailor your deployments through channel partners
If a hotel knows that employees will only use their devices on the premises with a Wi-Fi connection, it can remove cellular connectivity to create cost savings. If a retailer needs devices to help employees manage inventory and process transactions, it can work with a channel partner to lock down additional features. If a hospital needs specific software for electronic records management, it can work with a channel partner to install all of the necessary apps and support services. Unlocked phones provide the freedom to tailor these devices without any of the complications that may arise from negotiating a service contract.
5. You want to reduce costs over the long run
Even though businesses have to pay a higher initial cost to purchase an unsubsidized device, they end up paying lower service costs. In a recent IDC survey, over 40% percent of respondents said they chose an unlocked device because it allowed them to enroll in the best rate plan available. Over the life cycle of an unlocked device, services equate to a lower total cost of ownership, exclusive of the potential productivity costs that come from limiting employees in different places to just one carrier option.
As the enterprise moves towards strategies that emphasize speed, flexibility and choice, unlocked devices are helping mobile deployments do the same. By offering new opportunities for customization, flexibility, and cost-savings, unlocked phones are helping businesses everywhere to harness the full potential of their mobilized workforce.