BlackBerrys Pay Back Costs Many Times Over

EnterpriseFinancial MarketsMobility

Using BlackBerry devices with RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server can offer benefits from improved productivity to better regulatory compliance

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine the economic impact of a BlackBerry solution—that is, BlackBerry smartphones paired with BlackBerry Enterprise Server—within an enterprise.

The results, published in September as “Economic Impact of a BlackBerry Solution in North American Enterprises,” are particularly good news for enterprises with employees in sales, field services and executive management roles.

In undertaking the project, Forrester relied on surveys, as well as interviews with IT and mobile decision makers, “mobility decision-maker stakeholders” and executives in enterprises that have deployed BlackBerry smartphones. These, Forrester said in the report, it combined with its in-house expertise and knowledge.

Based on the results of the study, Forrester categorized enterprises into three maturity stages: reactive, proactive and integrative deployment. “Reactive-stage organizations deploy BlackBerry smartphones to CXOs, managers and sales personnel, and implement basic mobile applications such as e-mail, calendar and personal information management (PIM),” the report said. “Organisations in the proactive stage deploy BlackBerry smartphones and mobile applications to a broader range of employees, including customer service and support, and IT personnel … Companies in the integrative deployment stage view mobility solutions as key strategic initiatives” and deploy BlackBerrys and mobile applications to a wide range of workers.

Forrester found ROI to be in direct relation to each maturity stage. “The three-year risk-adjusted ROI for each stage of the mobile maturity model is: 560 to 827 percent in the reactive stage; 825 to 1,251 percent in the proactive stage, and 1,589 to 2,829 percent in the integrative maturity stage,” stated the report. “These ROI benefits are achieved as enterprises expand their mobile device usage and application deployment across a wider group of enterprises in the organisation.”

Forrester also found the largest increases in productivity to be among employees in sales, field service and executive management roles. According to the report, “Productivity benefits range from saving 1 to 2 hours per week for sales, field service and executive managers in reactive organisations to improving productivity by 13 to 21 hours per week for sales personnel in integrative deployment stage enterprises.”

For businesses at the reactive stage, the business efficiency benefits—which vary depending on the type of employee but include productivity and increased employee satisfaction—of a BlackBerry solution “account for more than 75 percent of benefits,” while at the proactive stage, business efficiency constitutes 68 percent of the benefits, and at the integrative stage, 60 percent.

Other benefits Forrester identified include benefits to security, such as reducing the cost of maintaining device security accounts and more effectively complying with regulatory demands.

While the three-year TCO of a BlackBerry phone ranges across maturity stages, from $3,168 (£1995) on the low end to $3,699 on the upper reaches, the benefits of deploying the devices with associated mobile applications over three years, according to Forrester, ranges “from $20,919 in the reactive integration stage to $101,614 in the integrative deployment stage.”

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