As we look seriously at connected learning, the influx of notebooks and mobile learning applications has been astounding. This week, in fact, Apple took over much of the news with the launch of its iPad Mini. In the previous weeks leading up to this launch, I heard and read discussions around education being a key target audience for this new iPad offering, which renewed my intrigue in the use of handheld devices & mobile learning.
Bloomberg discussed the rise in iPads being used in the classrooms due to its “cool factor” and ability to encourage students to learn by increasing engagement. More than 2,500 classrooms currently utilize iPads as learning tools, and this number is expected to increase with the continued growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Superintendent of the McAllen Independent School District in Texas was quoted saying, “We’re moving away from desktops and laptops. Ninety percent of the work is now being done on mobile devices.”
Think about that for a minute -- ninety percent -- wow. With mobile learning amongst Forbes recent list of Five Technologies to Watch, it is obviously only going to increase in momentum. In addition, the potential revolution in digital textbooks is primed to change the entire landscape. The jury is still out on when that revolution will take place, but it’s looking more and more like a reality.
Are you, or do you know, an educator who is formatting educational materials for mobile devices and planning learning activities that leverage multimedia, videoconferencing and other features of smart phones and tablets? Tell us your story! (and what you think of the new iPad mini)
Want to know how to make sure your network is secure & meets compliance all while enabling a successful BYOD program?
OK, I admit that I’ve always been a techie wannabe, however I never quite made it to true techie level. So when the buzz around BYOD and unified workspace started a couple years ago, I was intrigued, and as it has built momentum and taken hold in so many organizations, I have taken an interest in understanding how it really works. Obviously, security, visibility and control are the big concerns, and to understand how those concerns are met, I found this video on Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) really helpful:
Last week, the blogosphere was abuzz with fresh insights on business mobility, BYOD, and collaboration. Cisco worldwide sales leader Chuck Robbins highlighted recent research commissioned by Cisco from the Economist Intelligence Unit. His blog talked about the risks and rewards that come with a business mobility strategy. The research showed that business leaders see this new mobile way of working as inevitable, even though it comes with a certain amount of risk for corporate data.
Chuck’s blog also briefly touched on another concept: culture. I recently spent some time speaking with customers about their mobility strategy, and culture came up in some of these conversations as well. When I think about Cisco and other companies I’ve worked with, a big part of corporate culture is defined by how we (as individuals) work, how we share, how we collaborate, and how “close” we feel to others in the workplace. Have you ever reminisced “when I worked for xyz-company, I really felt like I was part of a family?” I know I have.
In today’s non-stop global world, preserving culture is more important than ever, but technology and geography can conspire against culture – and so we have to actively work to preserve culture in modern business environments. One way to promote culture is to create a collaborative and open environment through the use of video collaboration, not just for remote employees, but in every meeting. While ideally every meeting would be face-to-face, the reality of mobility and BYOD is that we’re not always at our desks. Video puts us front-and-center. It forces us to tune in and focus on the conversation at hand. But it also drags our culture and our surroundings into the meeting. I saw this first hand speaking to a customer on WebEx this week, when he unexpectedly turned on his iPhone video, and marveled at how he could walk through his home, streaming video while speaking with me on the call.
And there it was! That simple act of sharing video turned a regular conference call into a vibrant, two-way engagement. If we can make it easy and enjoyable to use video collaboration in the new global, virtual, mobile workspace, we share more than just words – we share culture. And to do that in a mobile environment, you’re going to want a strategy and a partner that can get you there regardless of the device you are using at the moment, be it a traditional PC in an office or cubicle, a thin client delivering a virtual desktop, or a smart phone or tablet.
One thing is for certain – freedom to use a wide variety of items is having a profound impact on society and culture. Putting those devices to use to nourish and extend your corporate culture is an idea that some forward looking IT leaders are already turning into practice. How has, and how will video and mobility impact your workspace and corporate culture? The following info-graphic highlights some of the trends that are driving the need for a seamless blend of mobility, video, and collaboration across all your devices.
Click the tall info-graphic above to learn more, and them come back and post a comment! Tell me how the consumer usage of video and mobility are changing the culture of your company.
Freedom brings risks and rewards. And, that is certainly true when it comes to mobility for most organizations. Mobility unleashes our ability to communicate, collaborate and innovate across geographies. These rewards, however, come with security, policy and network management challenges. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear this first-hand from customers, partners, and providers as they think through the issues associated with bring your own device or “BYOD”.
And with more sophisticated mobile devices entering the consumer market, the BYOD trend will only accelerate. As 44% of workers use three+ devices for work each day, our customers now recognize that they need to think beyond the device and address the issues of secure data access and network management. Their challenge: how to “lock it down before they free it up.”
A recent global survey commissioned by Cisco from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Secure Data Access in a Mobile Environment, questioned 578 senior executives on the current and ongoing challenges stemming from increasing trends toward worker and user mobility, and how this has shaped company BYOD practices and policies. The respondents represented several different industries, with major ones including IT and technology (13%), financial services (11%), professional services (11%) and energy and natural resources (9%). Overall, the results found that although manyexecutives are uneasy about the security of corporate information on mobile devices, the trend is largely unstoppable and proper policies must be initiated to underpin access to this sensitive information.
In my new role as head of worldwide sales for Cisco, I oversee a distributed team of highly mobile professionals around the world who require the ability to “work their way” regardless of location, so I can relate to the challenges our customers are facing when it comes to managing the influx of personal mobile devices. Below are a few key findings from the survey, which are consistent with what I’m hearing from our customers:
Most executives are still uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies.
42% say that C-suite needs secure and timely access to strategic data, yet, only 28% believe it’s appropriate to access this from mobile devices.
49% say the complexity of securing multiple data sources and a lack of knowledge about mobile-access security and risk are top challenges for their companies.
Larger companies are most willing to allow mobile access to critical data, but also impose stricter rules
47% of companies with revenue under $500m permit access on personal devices with policies that are more informal.
Over 90% of companies with over $1b revenue allow access to data via personal and company devices and have written and enforced security policies.
BYOD requires that companies take a fresh look at how they attempt to control devices and use. And importantly, mobile policies must not neglect social networking.
There is a gap in what is stated and what is allowed; 56% of respondents have policies for acceptable use of social networks on mobile devices, yet, 33% of the executives are restricted from discussing work on these platforms.
With an influx of devices, available infrastructure is the key influence on company policies around mobile access.
60% cite IT infrastructure requirements as the primary influence on policy around security and security related to mobile access
It’s clear from the survey findings that each new opportunity to further connect and engage employees brings with it a corresponding set of challenges. Social media will become a critical component in the world of BYOD, as multiple devices necessitate collaboration technologies that must work in tandem. Tools will also have to become adaptive, as social applications begin to overlay with collaboration technologies. Additionally, mobile applications will begin expanding into the mobile workforce, creating further implications for those working outside the firewall.
With this in mind, the creation of a collaboration strategy that integrates the right technology, the right culture and the right processes is key to unlocking the power of mobility. On the technology front, we know that devices are only as useful as the connections they have, which makes an intelligent network more critical than ever before.
At Cisco we’re committed to helping you address the challenges associated with BYOD so that you can enable your employees to work where and how they want, securely. I would encourage you to check out the full EIU report here, and then learn how Cisco and our partners can help you build a unified workplace strategy at www.cisco.com/go/yourway. Let me know your thoughts on the survey and how Cisco can help your business. We’re only just beginning to see how mobility will transform the enterprise and Cisco is excited to lead the way.