BYOD may be a management and security headache for some organizations, but if done right, it can lead to significant productivity, efficiency and financial gains, according to Cisco Systems officials.
In addition, the more strategic an organization's bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives are, the greater the benefits that are gained.
Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group conducted a study to determine the financial impact of BYOD for businesses, surveying 2,415 mobile users in 18 industries and six countries. The study found that BYOD—fueled by employees' desires to use their own mobile devices for work and to access the applications and cloud services they need—is a worldwide trend that will only grow.
In addition, the benefits to organizations are significant, and how a BYOD strategy is implemented is crucial.
"BYOD is already a big phenomenon, and it's growing substantially," Jeff Loucks, senior manager of the Internet Business Solutions Group, told eWEEK.
BYOD was kicked off by Apple's introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and gained momentum with the arrival of tablets. In recent years, notebook PCs also have come into the picture, with employees increasingly deciding to use their own systems for work, Loucks said.
"Laptops have really come to the fore as an important part of BYOD," he said.
Initial enterprise resistance—over worries about management and the security of networks and data—is giving way to acceptance and growing adoption. The trend also has had tremendous impact on businesses, which have to find ways to securely manage employee devices and to ensure a good user experience. Networking and security vendors continue to roll out solutions designed to enable organizations to easily and securely adopt BYOD.
"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades," David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction and reducing or avoiding costs."
For Cisco, the BYOD trend hits many of its major business areas, from networking to collaboration to mobility. The company also has its own in-house BYOD initiatives in place.
And for good reason. The trend will only grow, and the potential benefits are huge, Loucks said.