Business mobility is driving better productivity, heightened customer experience, and harmonious work/life balance. It also offers freedom for knowledge workers beleaguered by accelerating demands on their time and talents. Indeed, workers themselves have taken much of the initiative toward business mobility.

It is now up to enterprises to support and shape their further adoption of this key technology to capture its full benefits. Moreover, business mobility represents an opportunity for service providers (SPs) to generate new revenue and to deepen their enterprise customer relationships.

To gain a better perspective on the latest trends in business mobility, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) conducted an extensive survey in March 2013. Comprising 4,800 respondents across eight countries, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of the needs, interests, and behaviors of end users of business mobility.

Several key themes emerge from this survey, all of which have significant implications for enterprises and service providers:

Making the Best of Business Mobility1. The transformation of business mobility is well under way. Enterprise IT and service providers will need to provide new services to unleash the full benefits of business mobility as it continues its sweep into advanced stages of adoption.

2. Business mobility has much room to grow. While a significant proportion of employees don’t use business mobility, many perceive its distinct advantages. For example, among those who are not current users, approximately 30 percent feel that a mobile business device would help them stay in better touch with managers and colleagues. The challenge for enterprise IT is to educate those unconnected workers.

3. There is pent-up demand for next-generation business mobility offerings. Most of the new services that business users desire will be enabled through next-gen cloud services. Forty-three percent of business users are interested in “desktop in the cloud” services. Wi-Fi Voice, biorecognition, and dual-persona solutions are also generating interest. Enterprise IT should actively explore future deployment. These will also create new and monetizable business models, with a clear and distinct value proposition for service providers.

4. Productivity is a key driver of adoption. Among our respondents, productivity — as defined by time savings — is the leading driver of mobile use in the workplace. If it is to realize the productivity benefits, enterprise IT will need to take the driver’s seat in shaping and supporting business mobility in order to realize productivity.

5. Security and privacy concerns continue to be a key issue. More than
60 percent of all business users are either not comfortable with — or are undecided about — IT installing security software on their personally owned devices. Enterprise IT will need to educate employees on the importance of security, while ensuring personal privacy.

6. The business mobility marketplace is fragmented, providing a prime opportunity for consolidation. Today, employees buy their devices and apps from a variety of sources, and access a wide range of after-sales support. The business mobility device market is similarly fragmented. This puts the onus on enterprise IT to play a more harmonizing role; SPs have a tremendous opportunity to provide a more integrated, end-to-end value proposition.

7. Service providers need to step up to business mobility before losing out to device and over-the-top (OTT) players. Apple, for example, is leveraging its positive standing with consumers to pave its entrance into enterprise technology. SPs should answer this new challenge. The convergence of next-generation cloud services and business mobility is a game changer that will provide SPs with unique opportunities.

It is crucial for both enterprise CIOs and service providers to facilitate the next phase of business mobility. Those that bridge these technology pain points with proactive strategies will realize great business value; those that don’t will miss an important opportunity. For while the initiatives of individual employees may be driving this evolution in important ways, these forward-thinking knowledge workers will need to be supported and encouraged if they are to further accelerate the journey.

Learn more about this crucial inflection point by downloading the white paper, Next-Generation Knowledge Workers – Accelerating the Disruption in Business Mobility.


Chris Osika

Senior Director, Global Lead

Service Provider Practice Internet Business Solutions Group