Is BYOD something that you should be exploring with Cisco Services? Your employees are already bringing their own devices onto your network and into your workplace. Don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to learn more.

What is the business value in employees “bringing their own device” into the workplace?

The clear trend in the enterprise is to enable people to "work their way," regardless of where they are and what device they are using. Embracing this trend will help you unlock the value in your people and your IT infrastructure, providing huge increases in mobility, flexibility, and collaboration, resulting in huge productivity gains as well as increased employee satisfaction and much higher levels of motivation.

BYOD can deliver tangible benefits, as proven by Cisco’s own IT results. Cisco now has more than 53,000 personal and corporate smart devices and has seen a 96 percent increase in smart devices over the last 2 years. Yet mobility costs have reduced by over 30 percent.

Cisco estimates that the annual benefits from BYOD range from $300 to $1300 per employee, depending upon the employee's job role, and that Cisco employees pay an average of $600 out of pocket for a smart device that will give them more control over their work experience.

If you then add to this high-quality video everywhere, you can increase businesswide value in several critical ways, for example, travel reduction. Your employees spend less time traveling and more time being productive.

Cisco has virtually eliminated travel for internal meetings and training. As a result, Cisco's travel expenses are down by more than half (from approximately $750 million per year to approximately $350 million per year). Increased productivity from senior and executive management and other experts is valued at $42 million.

And our customers are telling us the same. Organizations that have deployed a fully collaborative environment experienced a whopping 400-plus percent return on their investment, and recent studies suggest that employees who use mobile devices for both work and personal use put in more hours than those who do not.

The business value is clear: lower capital and operational costs with much higher levels of employee productivity and motivation, as well as attracting and retaining talent, giving a competitive edge and clear business advantage over other rival companies.

What are the security and compliance risks behind BYOD?

According to a Cisco Study, 95 percent of employers now permit employee-owned devices in the workplace, and employees are doing more than just bringing their own devices. They are bringing their own applications; their own personal information; and an expectation to do more than just email, messaging, and voice on their mobile devices. They want video, social, and virtual capabilities: the same capabilities they enjoy when not working.

Employees 3 out of 5 employeesalso have new attitudes about technology. In 2011 Cisco found that three of five employees believe they are not responsible for protecting corporate information and devices. And seven out of ten admit to knowingly breaking IT policies on a regular basis.

This is opening the door to significant vulnerability for the enterprise, as employees might be downloading files with malware, putting corporate data and compliance at risk.

The cost to deal with attacks has grown significantly, which therefore requires a shift in security practices, and that is what we are seeing with all our customers.

We’re helping enterprises evolve their security and compliance policies as well as governance models to cope with this. According to recent analysis from Cisco, only 14 percent of BYOD costs are hardware related. The remaining management costs can be reduced through new policy and compliance capabilities.

*Source: Cisco 2011 Connected World Report

How do enterprises control personal devices and at the same time protect company data?

IT has to maintain 7 out of 10 employeesadequate security measures and comply with industry regulations while at the same time enable BYOD initiatives, so this is a question that all enterprises are asking when they are considering BYOD.

Let’s consider what we have done here at Cisco. Through a joint collaboration with HR, Legal, and Cisco IT, we have enforced a companywide, automated rollout of “rules of use” mobility services policy which an employee must agree and sign. This includes remotely wiping data should the device be compromised, mainly through mobile device management.

We are working very closely with many customers to create a single source policy for the entire organization.

*Source: Cisco 2011 Connected World Report

What are the challenges that businesses face when implementing a BYOD strategy?

Although mobility is now a business imperative, it still remains a massive risk because it affects everything from the device to the data centre.

Gartner predicts that by 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets. So the challenges of enabling a truly mobile workspace are significant. How do you:

Challenges when implementing BYOD

  • Support rich collaboration services on a wide array of mobile devices?
  • Extend access not just to employees, but also to customers, partners, vendors, and suppliers?
  • Effectively manage and secure both personal and business mobile apps while providing consumer-like, self-service capabilities that users want?

Let’s take one of the main challenges such as increased management complexity resulting from implementing a more granular information security policy across multiple network, security, and server devices.

A solution to this is to have central policy management control that effectively manages the entire infrastructure as one security platform.

Clearly you can’t replace all of the infrastructure at once with one that delivers this transparent functionality and simplified management and control. This is why you need to take an architectural approach.

Challenges when implementing BYOD

This means defining where you want to get to in terms of a future target architecture, based on business requirements and IT strategy. Then understanding where you are currently in terms of your existing installed base.

This is where Cisco’s transformative networking can help. Once you have these, you can map out a journey of interim stages and create a roadmap. This will typically be accompanied by a business justification that identifies the benefits at each stage along with any infrastructure costs and simplification savings.

How do you integrate into the existing network and future proof your BYOD investment?

How do you integrate into the existing network and future proof your BYOD investment?

BYOD is here to stay. But as I have discussed previously, BYOD and next-generation mobility can be incredibly complex and therefore requires a different approach to be successful. That’s where architecture comes in.

Cisco’s own infrastructure was built on this approach. The Cisco Advanced Services team has found that without an architectural approach, mobility can actually hinder productivity instead of helping it, with the total cost of ownership being negatively affected.

Our advice to all of the enterprises we work with is this: make sure your framework is a comprehensive, end-to-end architecture.

Cisco has always provided proven architectural frameworks that enable enterprises to take the next leap in productivity. In fact, according to a 2012 best practices research paper, Cisco is the recognised leader in customer-centric innovation.

Through taking an architectural approach, combined with a deep understanding of the underlying technology, Cisco Services are uniquely positioned to assist you in transitioning to a fully mobile and collaborative environment, allowing you to “work your way” and maximising business value to the enterprise.

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About our interviewee
Paula Dowdy Senior Vice President, Cisco Services Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR)


Paula Dowdy leads Cisco’s Services business in EMEAR and is responsible for creating and delivering the services strategy and sales growth. Her leadership scope spans more than 120 countries with an emphasis on customer transformation and partner centricity.

Each year, Paula and her team engage with hundreds of leaders in the enterprise, public sector, service provider and partner led markets, enabling them to transform organisations with innovative technology services from Cisco.

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