If you’re responsible for any decisions concerning your company’s mobility policy, Apple’s cagey invitation to their 9.9.2014 media event speaks volumes. An Apple event typically means new Apple devices, and that’s everything you need to know. What you know is that you need to quickly get a device replacement policy and strategy in place for your company, because the tidal wave is coming.
Odds are, Apple will be announcing the new device currently referred to as the iPhone 6. Since there have been no major updates to Apple’s lineup for a few years, demand for this device will be considerable – if Apple exceeds expectations. Throw in the possibility of multiple devices and rumored wearable technology and you can bet there will be a lot of eyes on the September 9th event.
And many of those eyes belong to mobile workers who want those new devices. To survive the flood, you need to get a water-tight device replacement policy in place immediately. Floods like this typically come in two waves. First, the “automatics” – these are the die-hard Apple fans that automatically purchase any new mobility device that Apple releases. Then, once those new iPhones get out into the office, “device envy” will trigger a second wave and you’ll be deluged with claims for lost or broken devices. These types of reactions to new device releases (not just limited to Apple) can end up being very expensive for a company that has not put a replacement strategy in place.
If you want to keep your head above water, you need to develop a policy around situations when a new device purchase is warranted and make sure it is communicated to your user base. These situations could include upgrade eligibility, IT requirements, managerial approval, and many others. A company also needs to determine how they are going to handle replacements for requests that do not warrant a brand new device. These requests could be handled by having insurance on the device, buying a refurbished model, redeploying used company stock, or any other way that makes financial sense. The biggest key is to make sure the policy is known to employees. Be sure to plug any loopholes, or you may find yourself drowning in “false” requests (not to mention mixed metaphors).
When you have a well-crafted replacement policy in place, the flood otherwise triggered by new device releases (such as Apple’s) will be as stress-free and navigable as a lazy river.