With summer holidays coming to an end and employees returning to work, companies are feeling the sting of unexpected bill shock. Increasing travel for business, the hybrid use of mobile devices and the explosion of data are creating the perfect bill shock storm. Enterprises are flying blind when it comes to mobile data usage. This makes it increasingly difficult to control spend and maximise their investment in mobile.

Was it really business email or was it Netflix?

It’s a familiar story for many businesses. An employee goes away on summer holidays or business travel with their company smartphone and winds up with an outrageous phone bill that they shrug off and blame vaguely on work related use. The problem with phone bills is the data isn’t itemized. So neither the employee nor the finance department can be sure what exactly led to data overages. It’s hard to believe that work related usage can lead to a bill of $15,000 or more, but it’s also not impossible.
The first step to curbing excessive mobile spend is understanding what is being accessed on the end user device. Secondly, how much data each site or app is using. From there, business and personal use can be categorised and controlled.

Video content is ‘king’ but it’s costing businesses a fortune

According to Cisco, global mobile data traffic will increase nearly eightfold between 2015 and 2020, and by then, three quarters of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.
The main offender leading to bill shock for our customers is video streaming abroad. Particularly sports, television series or movies. And with Cisco’s prediction, there has never been a better time to enforce an acceptable use policy for mobile to control unnecessary data consumption.

The data consumption playbook

Knowing your employees, their usage patterns and potential areas of risk is an essential component of managing mobility. Once you understand the usage you can define and enforce a flexible mobile policy that continues to enable employees while they are on business trips.
Roaming can create the biggest single item on an enterprise mobility bill. But by capping it before anyone travels, enterprises protect their data allocation and save data. Introducing allow lists ensures business critical usage continues beyond the cap threshold.
A phone tethered to a laptop or tablet can consume a large amount of mobile data. By monitoring tethering – and limiting when necessary – data costs shrink. When used in conjunction with domestic and roaming caps, the enterprise can gain the upper hand in managing financial risks.
Compressing the data that travels to the mobile device is another technique to save data. While not all data is compressible, when it is possible to compress a video or photo, data is saved.
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