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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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BYOD: Employee-Led Innovation Goes Global

 Millions consumers around the globe are buying smartphones, tablets, and other advanced mobile devices loaded with features and apps that can be used for business as well as for their own personal communication and entertainment needs. Many of these people have started taking these devices to work and integrating them into their daily workflow. This trend is often called “bring your own device,” or BYOD.

Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) wanted to know how prevalent BYOD is, and how corporate IT departments are handling these new devices in terms of support, network access, and security. In the spring of 2012, we surveyed 600 IT decision makers in U.S. enterprises, and then expanded our study in the summer of 2012 to include 4,900 IT decision makers in midsize companies and enterprises – in a total of nine countries.

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Cisco Innovation Provides Competitive Advantage to High-Performance Trading

For the last decade I have been fortunate to work with leading buy-side, sell-side and execution venues from each major money center around the world.  This has been especially rewarding as financial markets have become so dependent on well-designed technology architecture in support of the exponentially growing automated trading business.

As competition grows more intense with firms fighting to capture order flow and optimize liquidity, I have discovered a common set of business imperatives that resonate with most players in the space, including:

  • An ongoing requirement for ‘Being FASTER than the Competition’.
  • Increasing Order Flow and Liquidity to help grow revenues.
  • Ability to have greater risk management insight in the trading lifecycle due to Regulatory requirements such as 15c3-5.
  • Fast Market Data Delivery and Distribution to help Accelerate Price Discovery for participant firm and exchanges.
  • Lastly, capturing key opportunities during Volatility is vital to the business.

Financial Services is an important vertical for Cisco and we have been focusing our R&D investments to optimize the value and benefit we deliver to financial markets.  This has resulted in the development of our High Performance Trading Fabric, a comprehensive architecture designed to optimize global electronic trading by addressing computing, routing, switching, optical, and trade flow intelligence in an integrated fashion that supports the multi-participant electronics trading lifecycle.

Our latest innovation results from the direct input my colleagues and I have received from our financial markets customers.  This week we are announcing Cisco’s Algo Boost technology, integrated into our new Nexus 3548 switch platform.  Algo Boost provides unprecedented performance, visibility and control for greater business agility and intelligence to allow firms to capture alpha across their trading operations.

I wanted to share a few benefit examples that are very relevant to the financial markets firms that I work with on a daily basis. Read More »

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More than Talk at Davos: A Deep Dive by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Infrastructure & Urban Development

In recognizing the need for new models for urban development, the World Economic Forum—which brings the world to Davos every January—has mobilized a multi-stakeholder team to find alternatives. Nic Villa, global director in the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group Public Sector practice, was recently named to this year’s Global Agenda Council for Infrastructure & Urban Development (GAC), a team of 15 experts and industry leaders drawn from around the world. This group is dedicated to exploring and identifying transformational models for infrastructure and urban development (I participated as a member in last year’s GAC).

By offering the case study of Shenzhen, Cisco IBSG contributed an outstanding example to the new “Urban Anthologies: Learning from our Cities” a user-friendly toolkit developed by the GAC to empower mayors, urban leaders, and private sector decision makers who are seeking to transform cities and communities. The tool highlights not only the physical outcomes of the projects but, most important, the catalytic and enabling factors that make these transformations possible (see chart below).

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Scaling Education Innovation, the Mooresville Summer Connection 2012

Innovation is alive and well in education. You don’t have to look far to find teachers using technology to personalize teaching and learning in their classrooms. There are also many outstanding examples of schools of distinction that have integrated technology into curriculum and instruction. However, there are precious few examples of school districts that are systemically employing technology as a foundational strategy to improve student achievement. That’s why the Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) stands out as a shining example of 21st century education and why their recently concluded Summer Connection 2012 institute is so important.

A vision of “every child, every day”, digital resources and a culture of caring are keys to the success of the Mooresville Digital Conversion. However, reform does not happen without leadership. Mooresville is fortunate to be led by one of the most innovative educators in American education today. Listen as Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of the MGSD describes the impetus and impact of Mooresville Digital Conversion.

MGSD ranks 100 out of 115 North Carolina school districts in funding yet ranks 2nd in student achievement and its graduation rate is also the 2nd highest in the state. Can these results be replicated in other districts? Is there a way to scale the Mooresville model? That’s where Summer Connection comes in.

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