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BYOD: No Longer a Four-Letter Word to Enterprise IT Leaders?

Until now, it’s been assumed that enterprise IT leaders probably view the current BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) movement with about the same enthusiasm as a farmer awaiting the next locust invasion.

A recent survey from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), however, indicates that BYOD may no longer be a “four-letter word” in enterprise IT departments. In fact, the study of 600 U.S. enterprise IT leaders—all from companies of 1,000 or more employees—shows that, if anything, BYOD now has a predominantly positive reputation in U.S. enterprise IT circles.According to the Cisco IBSG Horizons “BYOD and Virtualization” survey, more than three-quarters of U.S. IT leaders view BYOD as “somewhat” or “extremely” positive for their companies, and 88 percent say their companies are experiencing an upswing in BYOD.

Even more surprising is that 95 percent of surveyed enterprises allow employee-owned devices—and 84 percent directly support them in one way or another (36 percent support all employee-owned devices, and 48 percent support selected devices).

What could possibly cause IT leaders to change their tune about a trend that could pose serious challenges to security and support models?

According to the survey, U.S. enterprise IT leaders recognize two key benefits from BYOD: (1) increased employee productivity resulting from more opportunities for collaboration with colleagues, and (2) higher job satisfaction due to employees’ ability to use their preferred devices.

BYOD is already delivering measurable benefits to U.S. enterprises. Cisco IBSG estimates that BYOD-based benefits range from $300 to $1,300 per employee annually, based on a worker’s job role. The benefits are driven by a variety of factors (again, based on the worker’s role), including greater employee retention, improved asset use, more effective collaboration, increased customer face time, and improved productivity.

What about employees? Why is BYOD so important to them?

The survey showed that the top two BYOD priorities for U.S. enterprise employees are (1) “device choice” (ability to use their favorite device anywhere) and (2) the desire to perform personal activities at work, and work activities during personal time.

In short, BYOD helps enterprise employees gain further control over their work experience—a capability for which they’re willing to pay a premium. According to Cisco IBSG, the average Cisco BYOD employee pays an average of $600 for his or her preferred devices.

Clearly, BYOD is a high priority for U.S. enterprise employees—a fact not lost on IT leaders. Cisco IBSG’s study proves that U.S. enterprise IT departments no longer consider BYOD a “dirty word.” Rather, they’re accepting the reality that BYOD is here to stay by implementing mature strategies and policies that address the challenges BYOD may impose. The result should be a win-win for employees, IT leaders, and their companies.

For additional information on these findings and Cisco’s mobility strategy, you can go to http://blogs.cisco.com/news/a-mobile-experience-your-way-a-revolution/.

 

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