Rethinking the Mobile Workplace with BYOD

April 29, 2013 - 1 Comment

Providing the Freedom Employees Need, Without Compromises

BYOD continues to get headlines, as organizations look for ways to help users work the way they want, when and where they want—with the device they choose. Ultimately, mobility is more than BYOD. At Cisco, we believe work is a verb, not a place you go to – we provide the flexibility for our employees to work remote.

Sheila Jordan (@CiscoSheila), Cisco’s Senior Vice President of IT Collaboration, pointed out in this piece in Computerworld that cost savings are important, but the real benefits are “fostering collaboration, building employee morale, and creating an environment that is attractive to millennials.”

A few other articles address how BYOD is just the latest example of how mobility is changing the way people work, play and live. Collaborating and communicating should be rich interactions not bound by a physical place – benefiting the user and the business. And,  embracing this new mobility mindset translates to thinking ahead and beyond merely connecting devices to include security policies, collaboration tools and a network provider and foundation that can adapt and scale.

To think that this is all happening as we look back on the fortieth anniversary of the first cell phone call is fascinating.  What do you think? We’d love to hear how mobility and BYOD are affecting your workplace and here are a few questions to think about:

  • How many times a day/week do you use your own mobile device for work – to read company email, perform company-related tasks?
  • Would you rather spend your own money to use the mobile device of choice, or use your company mobile device?
  • How much are you willing to spend in a data plan to avoid using a company-owned device?

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  1. I keep advocating that time and again. Used mobile device, first of the Blackberry ones for 6 years until newer devices appeared like iOS and Android based ones got more useful for other day to day life tasks. I have saw people using 2 devices, including myself for awhile, and eventually I gave up Blackberry and carried only a personal one. Since there no other enterprise feature deployed other than mail/calendar/contact, loss of function was acceptable. If there were more features available like single number reach, chat, I could be keeping device longer.

    So what I learned was not only paying for a device to employees is enough, but making it useful to employees is a must. Choice is important, as well allowing personal choices (like Mac friendly companies such as Cisco). Security policy needs a real world checking to be good enough to protect company assets but not make mobile device usage so difficult or impractical people will give up devices. For some companies, apps like Good will be a fit for separation and management of company data, for others, native VPN support and native communications (Jabber), calendar and contacts will do the trick. Maybe securing one’s To-Do list with 10 digit password each time needed to check it is not valuable enough and people revert to Post-its. Companies to be aware of this an avoid that as making this mistake will surely drag away talents.

    Not only having practical tools make more productive by reducing time to use a tool, but will help attracting the best talents, the ones worried about using the tool as an accelerator to the task.

    Well for some employees, I believe and I see lots of them with two devices yet, Blackberry company provided but carrying personal iPhone and Android. If they have choice of Good on personal device, they would give up Blackberry right away, because having 2 mobile phones is too much (and two numbers to reach and be reached).

    As data plan, combined with unlimited voice for intracompany calls, $50 is the limit, something like 100 minutes off net calls with 1Giga of data usage, national roaming included.