There’s no doubt that BYOD—“bring your own device”—is a huge and growing phenomenon throughout the world. Recent research by the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) looked at BYOD and its economic impact in six countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India, and Brazil. In these countries alone, the number of BYOD devices is expected to more than double by 2016, to 405 million.

Clearly, introducing all those personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops into the workplace is causing complexity and uncertainty for many businesses. There is a strong appetite for BYOD, but our research shows that implementation has been largely reactive, resulting in a patchwork of ad-hoc capabilities and policies. Without a comprehensive approach, most companies are not realizing the potential value of BYOD—especially small or midsize businesses that do not have the IT resources or sophistication to manage all that complexity.

Enter the service provider (SP). BYOD opens the door to a number of SP opportunities:

  1. Managed services: For SPs providing hosted collaboration, infrastructure as a service, managed security, or other managed services, BYOD provides a great way to expand these offerings into an adjacent market—managed BYOD.
  2. Cloud services: BYOD can also be an important catalyst for cloud growth, since BYOD is usually served up on a cloud-based virtual desktop (or, “desktop as a service”). Ninety-one percent of IT leaders who responded to Cisco IBSG’s earlier global research on BYOD were aware of desktop virtualization, but only 33 percent had begun implementing a desktop virtualization strategy—providing a great opportunity for SPs to fill that gap.
  3. Mobility: BYOD can be an amplifier for mobile data, providing a new frontier for mobile carriers as users extend business apps to their own mobile devices.
  4. Network optimization: Customers will be looking for the most cost-effective way to deliver all the new mobile data traffic generated by BYOD. Service providers are well-positioned to offload that traffic to alternative Wi-Fi networks for better management and optimization.
  5. “Stickiness”: BYOD can help lock in customers because end users are less likely to leave the carrier that is managing all their BYOD services. Carriers can and should make themselves valuable to “BYOD-ers” by providing simplicity, security, and the value-added services they need.

Cisco’s research showed that BYOD employees are gaining an average of 37 minutes of productive time per week in the six countries surveyed. But there is potential for much more. Our economic analysis showed that with a more strategic, comprehensive approach to BYOD implementation, companies could be enjoying an average of $1,300 more in value per mobile employee each year. With their expertise in managed services, cloud, mobility, and network optimization, SPs are in a perfect position to help customers realize that value.

To find out if your company is getting the most from BYOD, try the new  BYOD Assessment Tool.  For a detailed look at Cisco IBSG’s economic analysis, download our Point of View. And to discuss BYOD opportunities for service providers, feel free to contact me at cosika@cisco.com.


Chris Osika

Senior Director, Global Lead

Service Provider Practice Internet Business Solutions Group