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The Future of Any-to-Any Collaboration Depends on Satisfying Today’s Mobile User Demands

When we think of the term “collaboration” we can often get trapped in the cycle of thinking that it only applies to IT departments and the bottom line. However, it’s important to consider how the role of the enterprise is shifting thanks to the consumerization of IT. For example, how can IT leaders satisfy new user demands while unleashing the power of a sound mobile strategy?

With today’s technology-driven global economy, enterprise mobility and collaboration tools need to be about connecting communities, not just companies. Never has there been a time when more business processes extend beyond headquarters. Organizations need to enable all types of connections: From the mobile worker to the teleworker, from other businesses to target consumers, from traditional branch offices to the cloud. This any-to-any type of collaboration is no longer keeping the enterprise at the center. Instead, the future is driven by all types of users.

It’s clear that users expect to collaborate anywhere, on any device, with any workload. They want to collaborate like they’re in the office regardless of their location. IT leaders must keep user demands top-of-mind when working to deploy a BYOD policy. This can create challenges and opportunities in five key areas:

Brett Belding - Collaboration

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  • Simplicity. For the end user, such as an employee, simplicity is a key factor in determining usability. If it’s not simple for the employee, they’re not going to use it. On the same note, devices need to be easy for IT managers to deploy on the network, in order to preserve precious time and resources.
  • Manageability. For IT managers, the question of how to manage users and devices, and ensure compliance to polices no matter how one is connected or where they are located is creating new challenges as new consumer devices come to market. IT managers need to be able to manage network access in a simple and effective way.
  • Security. As more employees bring personal devices to work, IT managers can be assured that security doesn’t have to be complicated when the right network infrastructure is in place. For users, personal privacy remains a concern. Armed with a secure structure and clear guidelines outlined in employee consent form, IT managers can foster an open dialogue about privacy issues between IT and employees.
  • Maximizing ROI on New and Existing Investments. Managing investment protection is a key concern for IT managers as they seek to balance incorporating legacy equipment and deploying new systems.
  • Choice of device – BYOD. BYOD means any device, with any ownership, used anywhere. These can be devices purchased by the employer, purchased by the employee, or both. Employees want to be able to use the mobile devices they choose to increase productivity and mobility. However, there can often be privacy and work-life balance concerns with BYOD.

It’s vital that IT leaders equip their organizations with the proper network infrastructure necessary to promote efficiency, productivity and market research initiatives.

Cisco is focusing on simplifying and broadening any-to-any collaboration. Learn more about how to extend the benefits of rich media collaboration outside your organization on any device, anywhere, so your employees are as effective and productive as they are inside the office.

Let us know what you want to hear more about via comment below or join the conversation on Twitter, #CiscoYourWay.

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3 Comments.


  1. I like the concept and like to see how IT managers in Middle East react after the virus outbreak in Saudi Aramco or Ras Gas.

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    • Hello my name is Firas and I am the head of IT in Cisco Middle East and Africa. I would like to reply to the question about the comment regarding Aramco. There was a formal declaration by Aramco regarding the incident which pertained not to a security compromise but rather to a software upgrade that took a bit longer than expected. Generally speaking, if we are to face a virus outbreak in Middle East, we would revert to our standard processes for handling such an incident: Detection, Escalation, Containment, Eradication, and Recovery working closely with our various services owners and vendors responsible for systems and services impacted.

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  2. Hmmm, very general and idealistic.
    If it was easy to manage and security was simple in the mobile space, then everyone would be doing it, and a lot of IT departments wouldn’t be out sourcing it and seeking assistance. And mobile service providers like us would be out of the job!
    Also with pure MDM, there is no ROI. It’s not until you start deploying business critical managed apps or distributing content with gamification that you start to get any ROI.
    And BYOD, that was so 2010. These days it’s more about COPE – Corporate Owned Personal Enabled = work supplies me with a device that securely holds work related data. Outside of that data it’s my device and I can put what ever personal data I want on it.
    Though some companies still give the option of BYOD, most employees feel they need to be reimbursed for something work would usually provide. From a management point of view, the more open you have BYOD the more it complicates things. As there are more OS, profiles, settings, variables etc you need to allow for, which makes it trickier or sometimes impossible to choose uniform policy across all devices.

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