I recently hosted a live webcast on measuring business value with Cisco’s Unified Workspace Smart Solutions.  The webcast addressed key challenges many IT architects and managers face when trying to determine the right metrics for evaluation when considering IT projects. It was great to have Jai Valluri who leads the Business Transformation team at Cisco co present with me.  He brought a wealth of knowledge on this topic from consulting with our largest and most strategic customers to help quantify the business value of deploying solutions such as Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) and Cisco BYOD.  

Although the focus of Jai’s research was with VXI customers, it’s important to note that customers interested in VXI are also very interested in BYOD because these two strategies go hand in hand.  In my conversations with customers I see the blending of BYOD and VXI in a hybrid approach to meet the needs of their organization.  For example, I recently spoke to IT leaders at a financial services organization wanting to do just that.  They wanted to allow their users to access business applications and collaboration tools on the company issued iPads.  That’s right.  For many companies, iPads are not part of their BYOD strategy, but part of the corporate issued device strategy.  This company in particular wanted to deploy iPads to their users with Cisco Jabber for real time communications while leveraging our security solutions and third party partnership with Mobile Iron for policy enforcement.  Additionally, they wanted to deploy VXI with Citrix to give secure access to highly sensitive applications and data such as HR applications and financial systems.  This balance of mobility and security allows employees to better serve their customers and win more business while enabling IT to maintain control.

Strategies like BYOD are not an all or nothing choice.  Most companies are deploying a blended approach based on the user needs.  For example, a chip manufacturer here in silicon valley who is deploying Jabber for iPad and iPhone running native for mobile employees that require real time communications and Cisco Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) zero clients and thin clients for contracted developers for faster deployments and additional security.

My observations with customers were further validated when we polled the  audience of IT architects for their perspectives on these topics.  The results were very telling.  When asked about the top drivers for VDI, 50% said it was BYOD; 

Cisco VXI and BYOD aren’t the end goals; rather these solutions help customers implement unified workspaces for business partners in their organization.  Lines of Business outside of IT such as sales, customer care and finance will drive true business value and savings.