Many businesses are embracing bring your own device (BYOD) schemes to foster workforce productivity and save capital expenditure on smart phones and tablets for employees, but they are forgetting the pitfalls of a long-term investment in such schemes as data usage continues to rise, according to a new report published this week.

While cost sensitivity is an important consideration when implementing BYOD, it is the typically ‘organic’ growth of the schemes that increase costs, and organisations must do more than simply capping data usage.

Putting limits on employees or footing their roaming charges in full can miss the point of using BYOD in the first place. BYOD usually comes about from one or two employees using their devices to access the odd email on the move, before it spreads across the workforce. Naturally, they are all on different contracts with different suppliers, and before too long, HR is getting a knock on the door asking for expenses.

We know data usage is increasing – Ofcom said this month that mobile data consumption in the UK has more than doubled this year – and this is an issue that isn’t going to go away soon, especially with the launch of 4G networks.

If a business is going to implement a cost-effective BYOD scheme, it is firs worth considering all-in-one call and data SIMs from a single supplier. This immediately eradicates any lengthy processes to recoup expenses, and ensures everyone is being charged the same.

The most important thing, however, is actual usage. Whilst it is surprising that many businesses do not have a clear idea of what their employees are using for work purposes, simple reporting at regular intervals can help put a stop to any over-usage and eradicate nasty surprises at the end of the month.

Any kind of capping however is counter-productive, as it completely defeats the object of extending your office to your mobile device and working on the move. There are other long-term options to reduce data usage, such as using a virtual desktop infrastructure, but taking these simple steps can ensure successful BYOD implementations for businesses of any size.