Digital Transformation | Hybrid Cloud | IoT

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How Smart Devices in the Workplace Fuel Productivity

We already know that savvy executives and managers everywhere are the early-adopters of a variety of mobile devices. They use these devices to connect to an online world of infinite possibilities. Behind every great device is a great network. The same essential network that's the platform for the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE).

Exponential growth in the use of these smart devices has led to significant and increased demand for network bandwidth across 84 percent of organizations surveyed globally, according to the findings from a new market study commissioned by BT and Cisco.

More than half (56 percent) of IT managers have also noticed a resulting performance decline in some applications, which impacts negatively the productivity gains promised by these smart devices.

Almost half (46 percent) of workers with Wi-Fi access in their office have experienced delays logging on or accessing an application, while 39 percent have noticed they are running more slowly now than before.

The research, which surveyed attitudes towards workers' use of their own smart devices in 13 regions, reveals 76 percent believe their organizations need to take further steps to fulfill the potential productivity gains that smart devices offer.

Increased use of cloud solutions (33 percent), greater use of specialist software (32 percent) and greater support for smart device users (32 percent) are what is needed to seize the opportunity.

Growing Demand for Wireless Communications

Ubiquitous Wi-Fi access over a better network is key to the development of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), but 45 percent of employees still don't have wireless access to their corporate networks. Of those workers currently without Wi-Fi access in their organisation, over two thirds (68 percent) believe it would have a positive impact on their work, for example, it would make them more efficient and productive (31 percent), help them work more flexibly (30 percent) and stay in-touch (26 percent).

Adrian Drury, practice leader, Consumer Impact IT at Ovum said: "The growth in employee smartphone and tablet ownership is changing the ways we work. Implementing a BYOD policy is about enabling employees to work more flexibly, and be more productive.


"Draconian Wi-Fi access limitations or failure to invest in sufficient Wi-Fi coverge is a fast way to ensure a poor employee experience. However, this is not a mandate for open networks. Businesses still need to ensure that network security policies are maintained, and ideally they should take an integrated approach to network access control, device management and application management."

The findings also indicate that network capacity is not the only challenge holding back benefits of BYOD. Despite overwhelming positivity among IT managers – 84 percent think adopting a BYOD policy confers a competitive advantage – the research also highlights a lack of progress in adopting or articulating a consistent policy across wired, wireless and Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Why BYOD Policies Require IT Governance

Trust in employees continues to play a large role in whether companies permit BYOD. Just over a quarter (26 percent) of IT managers think that all workers understand their access requirements or permissions for their mobile devices. This figure has increased from 19 percent in 2012, pointing to an increase in confidence.

Yet only 26 percent of employees that use a personal device for work recognize that this presents a risk to company security, suggesting IT managers are nervous with some justification.

Neil Sutton, VP Global Portfolio, BT Global Services, said: "With networks creaking under the demands of smart devices and more than three quarters, (76 percent) of users convinced that their organisation needs to step up to the opportunity, it's clear that enabling BYOD in its many forms is about much more than simply cool devices and a mobile contract. Organisations need to consider elements of device compatibility, security, Wi-Fi, network, application performance, with a focus on driving costs down."

He added, "Behind every great device you need a great performing network. With the right control and connectivity you can deliver a great user experience on any device. At BT we are working with more and more customers to understand and implement this coming of age of consumerisation and turn it to business advantage, reliably, securely and cost effectively."