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BYOD takes over workplace

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In a recent Cisco report, it was found that many IT administrators are accepting, and in some cases even embracing ‚bring your own device‚ BYOD into the enterprise.

Cisco has announced findings from the Cisco IBSG Horizons Study of 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 findings underscore that BYOD is here to stay, and managers 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.

‚As the number of devices being brought into work increases, organisations need a comprehensive mobility strategy,‚ says Leon Wright, Country Lead, Systems Engineering at Cisco SA. ‚By leveraging the intelligent network, organisations can now provide their employees with the benefits of working anywhere, anytime: in other words, ‚work your way’. These research findings support Cisco’s assertion that mobility needs to extend well beyond BYOD to include the integration of service provider mobility, enterprise mobility, security, collaboration and desktop virtualisation solutions.‚

The study shows some of the quantifiable benefits and complexities associated with allowing employees to use their own mobile devices on their employers’ networks. Most organisations are now enabling BYOD in the enterprise, with a staggering 95% of respondents saying their organisations permit employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace. This study also concluded that the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker is expected to reach 3.3 by 2014, up from an average of 2.8 in 2012. IT managers are balancing security and support concerns with the very real potential to reap significant cost and productivity benefits from the BYOD trend.

What’s more, the survey found that BYOD is just the gateway to greater business benefits. Over 76% of IT leaders surveyed categorised BYOD as somewhat or extremely positive for their companies, while seeing significant challenges for IT.

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.

o 84% of respondents not only allow employee-owned devices, but also provide some level of support.

o 36% of surveyed enterprises provide full support for employee-owned devices. 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 work purposes, and 65% of white-collar workers require mobile connectivity to do their jobs. By 2014, the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker will reach 3.3, up from an average of 2.8 in 2012.

o 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.

o 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:

o 40% of respondents cited ‚device choice‚ as employees’ top BYOD priority (the ability to use their favourite device anywhere).

o Employees’ second BYOD priority is the desire to perform personal activities at work, and work activities during personal time.

o 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.

o Employees are willing to invest to improve their work experience. According to Cisco IBSG, the typical Cisco employee who chooses to use his or her own devices at work pays, on average, a $600 premium to do so.

¬∑ Benefits of BYOD add up: The benefits of BYOD vary based on an employee’s role and work requirements. Cisco IBSG estimates that in the US for example, the annual benefits from BYOD range from $300 to $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 control cost: According to Cisco IBSG analysis, only 14% of BYOD costs are hardware-related, highlighting the importance of choosing the right governance and support models to control these costs.

Desktop Virtualisation on the Rise

· Companies recognize the value in desktop virtualisation: 98% of people surveyed were aware of desktop virtualisation. 68% of respondents agreed that a majority of knowledge worker roles are suitable for desktop virtualisation and 50% noted that their organisation is in the process 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 goes down, (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.

Cisco offers a broad portfolio of mobility products and services to help service providers and enterprises develop a holistic, scalable approach to their mobility initiatives while keeping operational costs in line and optimising the user experience. For the enterprise, Cisco is driving innovations around what’s called the Cisco Unified Workspace ensuring that everything that makes workers efficient and productive moves with them. As part of the Unified Workspace, employees will access some information on the device itself, like the platform-independent versions of collaboration applications such as Cisco WebEx and Cisco Jabber. Other applications or data may be accessed virtually through a virtual desktop centralised in the data centre with full rich-media capabilities using the Cisco Virtualisation Experience Infrastructure (VXI).

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 Centre, 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: Cisco Remote Expert is an integrated solution that will enable a virtual face-to-face consultation through immersive video and online form sharing at work or in the home by identifying and accessing the most appropriate subject matter expert from any location.

The enterprise solutions referenced above are key components of Cisco’s comprehensive mobility offering which also includes an extensive technology and services 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.

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