According the recent report by Cisco’s IBSG Group, the Financial Impact of BYOD, letting employees bring their own devices saves companies money and helps them become more productive. 53 percent of survey participants have raised work productivity through innovative work practices—powered by their devices. Nearly half of all participants preferred BYOD over corporate devices.

The freedom and productivity gains of BYOD are great for employees, but it also creates new priorities for IT—especially for security.  According to the BYOD and Mobility Security Report, security was a top concern for 70 percent of companies surveyed.

Just because employees are working on different devices doesn’t mean IT has to sacrifice security. The first step is in looking beyond the devices and putting together a mobility strategy. Cisco’s own mobility strategy is built around the network, not individual devices. It’s about viewing security as a way to allow individuals to work their way.

A more complete approach can pay off big. According to Brett Belding, Senior Manager of IT Mobility Services, “In the last two years, inside of Cisco, we have doubled the number of devices we support, up to 66,000 mobile devices.”

Belding emphasizes that embracing BYOD is about much more than saving the company money on devices.

Since moving to its current BYOD strategy four years ago, Cisco has reduced support volumes by 53 percent, and reduced cost per user by 30 percent. The biggest cost savings have come from support, as Cisco makes heavy use of WebEx Social to simplify setup and help users quickly solve problems. User satisfaction is up 33 percent as a result.

How is Cisco balancing security, mobility, and BYOD? Belding offers four tips to consider:

• Access to the network is policy-based and consistent across the company. Instead of worrying about every new device that comes along, IT can focus on a strategy of protecting the network and users.

• Employees connect with a trusted device that supports encryption and management. Their operating system must deliver the device security needed to support Cisco’s IT policies.

• If the device is lost or stolen, IT can wipe the data remotely. Remote wiping keeps passwords, contact information, emails, and other confidential data from falling into the wrong hands.

Social support and enterprise apps help employees make the most of BYOD. You can encourage participation, and build a community where people share ideas and recommendations—and help IT keep pace with changing needs.

Is your company making the most of BYOD? Check out our BYOD Assessment Tool to learn more about how your mobility and device strategy can deliver real benefits.