Work at home (WaH) deployments can incur a number of costs that may not be immediately obvious. For the employer, the WaH director, the CTO/CIO, really anyone in charge of a WaH program, reducing costs while maintaining an effective WaH solution is the goal. In this post we are going to be answering two main questions: What are the costs involved for employers when providing WaH enabled devices to employees? And what are the ways Secure Remote Worker can reduce these costs?
The main costs employers should to be aware of in a WaH scheme are:
- Device procurement
- Device loss
- Breaching of security compliances
- IT support costs
- Employee downtime
Due to the variety of solutions and their asking prices it can be difficult to estimate a general average. However, at any scale, it is safe to say that it is costly to provide new devices to employees for WaH. Using laptops as an example, excluding logistics, prices for mid-range laptops can range anywhere from $650 to $1,000 per device. If a company were acquiring these devices for 1,000 employees; an employer would be paying anywhere between $650,000 to $1,000,000.
Secure Remote Worker is, on average, 60% more cost effective than acquired/purchased hardware (depending on the value of the comparing hardware). This is because Secure Remote Worker installs on the employees’ personal devices, no hardware needs to be purchased, only the license for the software.
Secure Remote Worker is on average 60% more cost effective than acquired hardware, 75% when you include logistical costs.
Logistics are a thorn in the side for any company enabling WaH. When talking about deploying hardware to employees, 35% of the total costs comes down to logistics (Shipping, warehousing, transport, & admin costs), as we talk about in our blog about onboarding, the downtime that occurs due to logistics can also be substantial. We will go through this downtime more later.
So how does Secure Remote Worker avoid logistics? Secure Remote Worker is a software-based, secure BYOD solution. The software can be instantly deployed from a central location to be installed on the employees’ personal machines, eliminating the need for logistics and any associated costs.
Steve Mosser - CEO of Sensée, one of the first BPOs to embrace WaH for 100% of their workforce.
Attrition and staff turnover are realities in any workplace, including WaH environments. Some companies in the BPO and CX industries, for example, report having anywhere between 100% - 120% annual staff turnover. The employer will need to recover these devices from the ex-employees' locations, adding extra cost to the original price of these devices, or the employer needs to purchase replacements for these devices, neither solution being ideal.
Device loss is not an issue with Secure Remote Worker. It can be easily uninstalled. With the ThinScale Management Platform, IT can uninstall Secure Remote Worker, and remove accompanying corporate resources remotely, requiring no retrieval or purchase of replacement devices for the employer. This is particularly useful for the BPO and CX industries, who can experience that high staff turnover previously mentioned!
When attempting to recover devices, it is reported that there is a 50% chance that the employer will even recover their deployed devices from ex-employees.
Breaching of security compliances
While there may have been some allowance initially in 2020 due to the rush to WaH, security auditing is returning (Mark Hillary, IT Decisions), and compliance standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR are all still vital. As we go through in this previous blog on compliance standards, breach of these standards result in substantial fines. Using PCI DSS as an example, a data breach can incur penalties of up to €20 million, or 4% of your annual global turnover – whichever of these is higher. Though an extreme example, it shows how vital it is to meet these QSA’s requirements.
While it may be tempting to simply dispatch laptops with a VPN and call it a day, this would not be enough to meet compliance standards, though fine for enablement of initial WaH, the potential penalties should a breach occur could be substantial.
Secure Remote Worker was explicitly built with compliance standards in mind. Independently assessed by Coalfire Systems and Schellman & Company, Secure Remote Worker meets the QSA requirements for PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR for the endpoint.
Watch the full interview on our Security and Compliance page.
IT support costs
Support must be provided to employees transitioning to WaH, and of course, to new hires. This time is not free, IT teams report, on average, spending 1-2 hours per employee when onboarding. If we apply that to the thousand employee example from earlier, even assuming 50% require absolutely no assistance from IT we can see the impact (See table further down to see the impact of this compared to Secure Remote Worker).
With Secure Remote Worker’s Validation Tool, onboarding is reduced from 1-2 hours per employee to an average of 10 minutes per employee. This is due to the Validation Tool automating the majority of checks required to vet a device for secure BYOD, and allowing the IT team to provide employees with easily accessible guides on how to resolve issues. Customers report that Secure Remote Worker reduces the staff cost at during onboarding by over 88%!
During downtime periods, the employer, functionally, is paying for nothing. As mentioned earlier, even without the logistical complexities of 2020, delays on average of 2-3 days have been reported between dispatching the device and when the employee receives it. Meaning the employee is unable to work for 2-3 days, despite the employer paying their salary!
Secure Remote Worker eliminates this downtime, as IT can instantly deploy links to install Secure Remote Worker and it’s Validation Tool onto the employees’ personal machines, allowing them to get up and running with a single click. Speedy onboarding, thanks to Secure Remote Worker’s Validation Tool, also helps to reduce this downtime.
As we can see some of the costs associated with WaH can be substantial, however the ability to provide WaH to employees is both vital for employee well-being in 2020, and, for some companies, necessary to maintain competitive advantage (Peter Ryan, Ryan Strategic Advisory).
Secure Remote Worker allows the employer to reduce costs while enabling first-in-class secure BYOD for WaH.