Cisco has announced findings from the Cisco IBSG Horizons Study of 600 US IT and business leaders that shows IT is accepting, and in some cases embracing, bring your own device (BYOD) as a reality in the enterprise. The study shows some of the quantifiable benefits and complexities associated with allowing employees touse their own mobile devices on their employers’ networks. Coinciding with the publication of the study, Cisco also highlighted Smart Solutions for the enterprise and opportunities for service providers to help customers , and end users, make the most of mobility experiences in the office, at home, or on-the-go.
Thestudy found most organisations are now enabling BYOD in the enterprise, with astaggering 95% of respondents saying their organizations permit employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace. This study also concluded that the average number of connected devices perknowledge worker is expected to reach 3.3 by 2014, up from an average of2.8 in 2012. IT managers are balancing security and support concerns with thevery real potential to reap significant cost and productivity benefits from theBYOD trend.
What’s more, the survey found that BYOD is just the gateway to greater business benefits. Over three-fourths (76%) of IT leaders surveyed categorised BYOD as somewhat or extremely positive for their companies, while seeing significant challenges for IT. These findings underscore that BYOD is here to stay, andmanagers are now acknowledging the need for a more holistic approach — one that is scalable and addresses mobility, security, virtualisation and network policy management, in order to keep management costs in line while simultaneously providing optimal experiences where savings can be realised.
These research findings support Cisco’s assertion that mobility needs to extend wellbeyond BYOD to include the integration of service provider mobility, enterprisemobility, security, collaboration and desktop virtualisation solutions.
Key Survey Findings
More IT and business leaders saying yes to BYOD
95% of organisations allow employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace.
84% of respondents not only allow employee-owned devices, but also provide some level of support.
36% of surveyed enterprises provide full support for employee-owneddevices. In other words, they will provide support for any device (SmartPhone, tablet, laptop, etc.) the employee brings to the workplace.
Mobility and device use are on the rise: 78% of U.S. white-collar employees use a mobile device for workpurposes, and 65% of white-collar workers require mobile connectivity to dotheir jobs. By 2014, the average number of connected devices per knowledgeworker will reach 3.3, up from an average of 2.8 in 2012.
On average, mobility initiatives will consume 20% of IT budgets in 2014, compared to 17% in 2012.
Most IT leaders (76%) consider consumerisation somewhat or extremely positive for their companies.
Among respondents, the top two perceived benefits of BYOD were improved employee productivity (more opportunities to collaborate) and greater job satisfaction.
Employees want to work their way: Employees are turning to BYOD because they want more control of their work experience:
40% of respondents cited “device choice” as employees’ top BYOD priority (the ability to use their favorite device anywhere).
Employees’ second BYOD priority is the desire to perform personal activities at work, and work activities during personal time.
Employees also want to bring their own applications to work: 69%of respondents said that unapproved applications — especially social networks, cloud-based email, and instant messaging — are somewhat to much more prevalent today than two years ago.
Employees are willing to invest to improve their work experience.According to Cisco IBSG, Cisco employees pay an average of USD 600 out-of-pocket for devices that will give them more control over their work experience.
Benefits of BYOD add up: Thebenefits of BYOD vary based on an employee’s role and work requirements. Cisco IBSG estimates that the annual benefits from BYOD range from USD 300 to USD 1,300 per employee, depending on the employee’s job role.
BYOD does bring complexity: Security and IT support
Security and IT support are the top BYOD challenges: Respondents cited security/privacy and IT support for multiple mobile platforms as the top challenges of BYOD.
Device proliferation requires new policy, approach to controlcost: According to Cisco IBSG analysis, only 14% of BYOD costs arehardware-related, highlighting the importance of choosing the right governanceand support models to control these costs.
Desktop virtualisation on the rise
Companies recognise the value in desktop virtualisation: 98% of people surveyed were aware of desktop virtualisation. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents agreed that a majority of knowledge worker roles are suitablefor desktop virtualisation and 50% noted that their organisation is in theprocess of implementing a desktop virtualisation strategy.
Desktop virtualisation benefits, three key areas: (1) business continuity so that workers can access applications through multiple locations and devices even if, for example, a server goesdown, (2) employee productivity, and (3) IT costs.
Data protection is the number one concern: Ensuring that only the right people have access to sensitive company and customer data is a top priority.
Solving challenges and creating opportunities for optimal your way mobile experiences
Cisco offers a broad portfolio of mobility products and services to help serviceproviders and enterprises develop a holistic, scalable approach to their mobility initiatives while keeping operational costs in line and optimising theuser experience.
For the enterprise, Cisco is driving innovations around what’s called the Cisco Unified Workspace. The Unified Workspace is an integrated and strategic approach to the enterprise workspace that is squarely focused on helping employees access all of the people and resources they need to do their jobs effectively from wherever they are, on whatever device they choose and with an enhanced quality of experience. In short, with the Unified Workspace, everything that makesworkers efficient and productive moves with them. For example, instead of an employee just having voice while on the road, why not also provide the workerwith location and presence capabilities?
As partof the Unified Workspace, employees will access some information on the device itself, like the platform-independent versions of collaboration applicationssuch as Cisco WebEx and Cisco Jabber. Other applications or data may be accessed virtually through a virtual desktop centralised in the data center with full rich-media capabilities using the Cisco Virtualisation Experience Infrastructure (VXI).
To bring this strategy to life, Cisco is offering a set of “Smart Solutions”that have been fully tested and validated and can help CIOs and IT leaders increase business efficiency and remove the cost and complexity associated with mobility. The solutions, built on a common technology framework and backed byservices from Cisco and partners, help increase employee satisfaction and productivity by enabling personnel to work their way, helpingensure the business is highly secure and intellectual property is protected.
There are three Smart Solutions that can be offered to customers and partners:
BYOD Smart Solution: The Cisco BYOD Smart Solution transforms the workspace, providing end-to-end BYOD lifecycle management. The solution helps secure data with unified policy, delivers uncompromised experiences with powerful collaboration tools, and simplifies operations with proactive management.
VXI Smart Solution: The Cisco VXI Smart Solution is a desktop virtualisation system that spans Cisco’s Data Center, Borderless Networks and Collaboration architectures to deliver a superior collaboration and rich media user experience in a fully integrated, open and validated desktop virtualisation solution.
Remote Expert Smart Solution: CiscoRemote Expert is an integrated solution that will enable a virtual face-to-faceconsultation through immersive video and online form sharing at work or in thehome by identifying and accessing the most appropriate subject matter expertfrom any location.
The enterprise solutions referenced above are key components of Cisco’s comprehensive mobility offering which also includes an extensive technology andservices portfolio for service providers. Cisco offers solutions that can enable high performance mobile networks, with seamless roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi networks, all while helping to ensure the experience is optimised for the service and devices being used.These technologies enable service providers to meet growing bandwidth demands effectively, while increasing their ability to monetise the customers both on and outside of their networks. For example, just as many coffee shops advertise hotspots today, additional mobility services offered by service providers could enable those same businesses to attract additional customers.
According to the next Visual Networking Index Study (to be released on 30th May), total devices and connections on the internet will grow from 10.3 billion in 2011 toa whopping 18.9 billion in 2016 — nearly doubling in only five years. This provides service providers with clear opportunities to grow their business and offer value added services to customers.
Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.