[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Cisco has announced findings from the Cisco IBSG Horizons Study of 600 U.S. IT and business leaders that shows IT is accepting, and in some cases embracing, “bring your own device” (BYOD) as a reality in the enterprise. The study shows some of the quantifiable benefits and complexities associated with allowing employees to use their own mobile devices on their employers’ networks.

The study found most organizations are now enabling BYOD in the enterprise, with a staggering 95% of respondents saying their organizations permit employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace. The study also concluded that the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker is expected to reach 3.3 by 2014, up from an average of 2.8 in 2012. IT managers are balancing security and support concerns with the very real potential to reap significant cost and productivity benefits from the BYOD trend.

The survey found that BYOD is just the gateway to greater business benefits. Over three-fourths (76%) of IT leaders surveyed categorized BYOD as somewhat or extremely positive for their companies, while seeing significant challenges for IT. These findings underscore that BYOD is here to stay, and managers are now acknowledging the need for a more holistic approach – one that is scalable and addresses mobility, security, virtualization and network policy management, in order to keep management costs in line while simultaneously providing optimal experiences where savings can be realized.

These research findings support Cisco’s assertion that mobility needs to extend well beyond BYOD to include the integration of service provider mobility, enterprise mobility, security, collaboration and desktop virtualization solutions.

Key Survey Findings

More IT and Business Leaders Saying Yes to BYOD

  • 95% of organizations allow employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace. 
  • 84% of respondents not only allow employee-owned devices, but also provide some level of support.
  • 36% of surveyed enterprises provide full support for employee-owned devices. In other words, they will provide support for any device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) the employee brings to the workplace.
  • Mobility and device use are on the rise: 78% of U.S. white-collar employees use a mobile device for work purposes, and 65% of white-collar workers require mobile connectivity to do their jobs. By 2014, the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker will reach 3.3, up from an average of 2.8 in 2012.
    • On average, mobility initiatives will consume 20% of IT budgets in 2014, compared to 17% in 2012.
  • Most IT leaders (76%) consider consumerization “somewhat” or “extremely” positive for their companies. 
    • Among respondents, the top two perceived benefits of BYOD were improved employee productivity (more opportunities to collaborate) and greater job satisfaction.
  • Employees want to work their way: Employees are turning to BYOD because they want more control of their work experience:
    • 40% of respondents cited “device choice” as employees’ top BYOD priority (the ability to use their favorite device anywhere).
    • Employees’ second BYOD priority is the desire to perform personal activities at work, and work activities during personal time.
    • Employees also want to bring their own applications to work: 69% of respondents said that unapproved applications — especially social networks, cloud-based email, and instant messaging — are somewhat to much more prevalent today than two years ago.
    • Employees are willing to invest to improve their work experience. According to Cisco IBSG, Cisco employees pay an average of $600 out-of-pocket for devices that will give them more control over their work experience.
  • Benefits of BYOD add up: The benefits of BYOD vary based on an employee’s role and work requirements. Cisco IBSG estimates that the annual benefits from BYOD range from $300 to $1,300 per employee, depending on the employee’s job role.
  • BYOD Does Bring Complexity: Security and IT Support

    • Security and IT support are the top BYOD challenges: Respondents cited security/privacy and IT support for multiple mobile platforms as the top challenges of BYOD.
    • Device proliferation requires new policy, approach to control cost: According to Cisco IBSG analysis, only 14% of BYOD costs are hardware-related, highlighting the importance of choosing the right governance and support models to control these costs.

    Desktop Virtualization on the Rise

    • Companies recognize the value in desktop virtualization: 98% of people surveyed were aware of desktop virtualization. 68% of respondents agreed that a majority of knowledge worker roles are suitable for desktop virtualization and 50% noted that their organization is in the process of implementing a desktop virtualization strategy.
    • Desktop virtualization benefits, three key areas: (1) business continuity so that workers can access applications through multiple locations and devices even if, for example, a server goes down, (2) employee productivity, and (3) IT costs.
    • Data protection is the number one concern: Ensuring that only the right people have access to sensitive company and customer data is a top priority.