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The Cisco Connected World Report: Mobility’s Role in Workplace Flexibility

October 20, 2010 - 0 Comments

As part of Cisco’s ongoing focus to help customers, we often conduct studies around the world that give us real-life insight into how businesses are evolving and how end users themselves are driving many of those changes with their behavior and technology expectations.

After all, understanding what employees expect from their IT organizations to perform their jobs better is integral to delivering the right solutions to our customers.

This week, Cisco announced the results of a comprehensive, global study that analyzes employee lifestyles and the level of importance workers place on being able to use various devices to access applications and information – both corporate and personal – inside and outside of the office.

The purpose of the Cisco Connected World Report is to understand the changing dynamics of businesses as employees become increasingly mobile and distributed. This research also looks at borderless networking and covers significant business and technology trends that are resulting from employee expectations and behavior, such as device proliferation, consumerization in the workplace, and the impact on IT.

Surveying more than 1,300 end users and 1,300 IT decision makers in 13 countries, the Cisco Connected World Report uncovered some compelling data about wireless and mobility in the enterprise, the evolving workplace and the demands being placed on IT today.  A few highlights from the report include the following:

  • Mobility is going mainstream in the workplace: 61% of employees believe they do not need to be in an office to be productive.
  • Wireless access is becoming critical to business operations and wireless is emerging as a primary network: 50% of global businesses consider their WLAN to be mission critical for their businesses and 4 out of 10 employees globally connect to their WLAN as a primary network.
  • Desire for the flexibility that mobility delivers is growing and for many is more important than salary: 2/3 of employees place a higher value on workplace flexibility than salary.
  • Mobile device proliferation is driving investment in wireless networks and smartphones are emerging as primary devices: More than one out of three IT professionals worldwide (37%) said that at least half of their end users rely on smartphones as their primary communication device. In addition, 32% of employees rely on more than one mobile data device during their typical workday.

It’s clear that many of the trends Cisco has been flagging for the past few years are quickly becoming a reality. This sentiment was echoed this week in the press, reflected by comments by IT Business Edge’s Mike Vizard, who writes (in “Wireless LANs Gaining Supremacy”), “With the rise of mobile computing, the wireless network is poised to become the primary network used in the enterprise. Beyond the continuing shift to notebook devices that rely primarily on wireless networks, the latest generation of smartphones and tablets also make heavy use of 802.11 wireless networks…The implications of this shift, says Chris Kozup, Cisco director of mobility solutions, will be profound because as mobile computing continues to evolve, corporations will need more robust wireless 802.11n networks.”

This week’s press coverage in Computerworld and Phone+ also discussed the increasing role of mobility and wireless technology in the workplace, reflecting the findings in the Connected World Report, which also detailed how users expect anytime, anywhere access to the corporate network, and are increasingly using new, mobile devices to connect to it.  IT must respond to these demands by ensuring that the network offers better performance, added reliability and more flexibility. Meeting these customer needs is what Cisco’s Borderless Networks vision is all about. Don’t you agree?

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