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Can Manufacturers Stop the BYOD Trend or Should They Even Try?

I just finished reading Chuck Robbins’ blog on the BYOD trend and its impact on corporate culture. In the blog Chuck cites a recent study on how most executives are still uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies… and it got me thinking about how manufacturers are dealing with this trend.

More and more manufacturing workers are adopting mobile technologies into their workspace, and are growing accustomed to interacting and working in a more visual, virtual, social, and mobile way.  In fact a survey conducted by Manufacturing Executive this year noted that 63% of manufacturing companies permit their employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work, but only  17% of manufacturing enterprises have a formal BYOD strategy with clear goals and objectives.  Manufacturers are struggling with how to create, deploy and enforce sound enterprise wide security polices around BYOD.   Protecting intellectual property is only half the concern.  Manufacturers must also consider how a breach in security will effect the safety of their workers and environment, as well as, their products.

Although security is a top of mind concern for manufacturers, the promise of deploying a sound BYOD policy can not be discounted.   Empowering employees and partners with the freedom to collaborate and access video, data and voice on an open, mobile and personal platform can produce a culture that drives operational excellence, supply chain agility, and innovation throughout the entire manufacturing value chain from the plant floor up through to R&D centers.

For example if there is a problem on the manufacturing line, an employee with access to the company directory on their personal mobile device can locate and contact a supervisor or expert using Cisco Jabber and then launch with a single click mobile Cisco WebEx mobile,  where they can show the problem using the video camera on the device and quickly collaborate to solve the problem.

Supply chains can now become more agile and flexible, because customers and the enterprise can analyze, monitor and track progress from order through successful delivery in real-time.  Data is now not just captured, stored, analyzed and delivered, but is now acted upon, presented and shared with the appropriate people and systems in real-time.

In addition, a May 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two of five survey respondents said they would accept a lower-paying job that offered more flexibility for device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.  Crucial for an industry looking to retain and attract a qualified workforce.

Can manufactures continue to avoid the new BYOD paradigm, or are they just delaying the inevitable? Let me know your thoughts.

 

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Anticipate Business Risk When Considering Technology Investments

We could debate whether certain technologies are or are not a commodity, but the fact of the matter is when many enterprises evaluate their technology spend they consider two points: function and cost.  This viewpoint yields initial cost savings when technology investements are awarded solely based on price.  Unfortunately, a major consideration has been left out when evaluating enterprise technology investments mainly on price.  The business risk and increased operating costs associated with multivendor environments, which in the long run may mitigate any initial cost savings.

This message is not new, but what is new is a research paper from Deloitte that details the value of a single-vendor architecture in mitigating business risk and those investing in technology need to consider these risks at the time of evaluation.  This paper is a great lead in for the business architecture discussion that will translate to the technical architecture.  This paper does two things: Read More »

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Cisco at GSX: Stocking the Collaboration Toolbox with the Right Tool for Every Job

August 30, 2012 at 4:55 am PST

Which tool is more important: a stud finder or a hex wrench? You don’t need to be terribly tool-savvy to know there’s a place and a time for each to shine; a stud finder would come in handy to hang a heavy shelf but be useless when adjusting a bike derailleur.

When it comes to employee collaboration, the “go-to tools” are multiplying as the workspace is changing.  Some employees still do the bulk of their work from behind a desk at company headquarters; others split their time between the office and more on-the-go locales; still others need “full mobility” with access to the best software collaboration offerings available so work can happen in coffee shops, airplanes, hotel rooms—wherever.  To support these shifts in the way work gets done, Cisco announced some big changes to its unified communications licensing scheme this week at its virtual sales conference, GSX.

With today’s announcement, Cisco is now:

- offering software-only licensing. Prior to this, getting Cisco unified communications meant acquiring a license and a Cisco phone. No more; now, Cisco’s UC offerings can be managed and deployed as a true software platform. While many will still choose to start with a hardware phone, others will choose another device, like a PC, a tablet or even a smartphone as their main communication and collaboration tool. It is now up to you. Read More »

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The big questions for BYOD in Asia

The phenomenon of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has definitely become a top of mind issue for CIOs and end-users alike. No discussion in IT circles is complete these days without this topic coming up. IDG says that as many as three quarters of the workforce in Asia already engage in some form of BYOD with 66% of Asians owning at least one smart tablet device. Clearly, this is changing the way we work, live, play and learn. The big questions for the community are:

  • Is BYOD here to stay?
  • How do we maximize this trend
  • What are the things to look out for?

 

According to the latest Cisco Connected World Technology Report, between

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Real-Time Collaboration Helps Optimize the Performance of a Distributed Workforce

July 31, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

Do you ever feel frustrated when you just cannot access the right information right when you need it? Or when you spend several hours chasing multiple sources, verifying if something is accurate or not when you have urgent issues to resolve? Well, now imagine this scenario in a business environment where your personal performance or the performance of your team is affected with these exact same challenges every day.  And then imagine situations where you may miss the boat on closing a very important deal, resolving an urgent, technical customer issue, or misinterpreting data for an important report, because of all these communication barriers.

When we access information in a static, asynchronous environment, we have several dependencies, factors, variables, and therefore a higher chance of error. Our inability to verify data instantaneously, and having no version control in place, can make collaboration in a business environment quite challenging. Imagine an employee trying to verify if the document that was emailed to him or her on a specific date is indeed the latest and greatest version. Then imagine the string of email communications to various colleagues in order to confirm if the version he or she has, is indeed accurate. Let’s keep this story going; Read More »

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