Cisco Blogs

Getting to BYOD for Government

November 6, 2012 - 1 Comment

BYOD: If It’s Really Inevitable, How are you going to get there?

Hi, my name is Cheryl Hewett and I am the Global Marketing Lead for Cisco Public Sector Services. I may work for a technology company, but I would definitely classify myself as a technology user…not an implementer. Like many of you, I find my need to balance work and home life crucial to my personal well-being. Having a single smart phone to manage both parts of my life has been a game changer.

According to a recent report in the LA Times, the International Telecommunications Union has issued a new report stating that at the end of 2011, 6 billion people had a cellphone subscription. That means 6 in 7 of us have a cellphone!

Our use of personal devices for work continues to increase, even in government organizations. The expected trend is for new employees to increasingly demand more use of their personal devices within their workplace. 

The BYOD trend in the workplace, or “Bring Your Own Device” according to one IT policy advisor in the Canadian provincial government is inevitable, ….He says….
“We know BYOD is coming and we are setting the stage … As new people come into the government – the
new generation – they are used to a new way of working…. We are trying to position ourselves as an organization that is an attractive employer”.

What can you do to get started on the path to allowing employees this improved quality of life and popular benefit?

Here are a few ideas:

Just get started….there is no harm in exploring the concept of allowing employees to use the compute and communication devices that they choose. Many of your colleagues are finding that using an evolutionary process, rather than a revolutionary process….is the way to go.

The BYOD concept is most likely not going to be implemented all at once. Organizations can neither force every employee to BYOD; nor can they resist the trend completely. Different organizations will approach BYOD with different expectations across a spectrum of adoption scenarios.

The process is going to evolve over time, it may start off working group by work group. Expect to see a trend that is similar to the previous shift, from desktops to laptops and pc’s.

We highly recommend that you don’t put off creating a Policy for BYOD. Make your guidelines incremental and compatible, and make the process collaborative. Every organization needs a BYOD strategy, even if the intention is to deny all devices except IT approved and managed devices.

As central IT organizations research options and craft comprehensive strategies and policies, lower-level agencies begin to do their own thing. Smaller agencies can react much faster, and end up ahead of the curve. A proliferation of policies, then makes consolidation and rationalization across organization difficult. Please try to avoid this situation.
Have you have had a successful experience with BYOD? Want to see what others are saying? Let’s start a conversation on the 21st Century Government Facebook Page…start now!

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Hey Cheryl. Thanks for this video.

    Over here at the office I’m at we’re just getting started on the BYOD trend. We recently hired an employee who has started bringing a tablet to work. He’ll set it right next to his desktop and use it as an additional device for taking notes and accessing information more conveniently than he could on a single screen or device. A lot of people are sitting up and taking notice. We’re going be starting to really examine how to make a BYOD program work for all employees now that we’ve been introduced to the concept. This video will give us a few places to start.