Vision vs. Reality: The BYOD Debate [Cisco]

Gone are the days where workplace communications were limited to an office phone and desktop computer. Employees are demanding the freedom to communicate in multiple streams any time, anywhere, from any device.

Take phones for instance. A recent article published by Gartner predicts by year end 2013, 40 percent of enterprise workers will have abandoned or removed their desk phone in favor of their mobile.

This “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend is empowering users to communicate more effectively. It allows them to use whichever device they’re most comfortable with and gives them the freedom to access information, clients and colleagues in the office, on the road or in the coffee shop and, increasingly at home.

All great news if you’re a BYOD user. A challenge – some might say nightmare – for the IT department, in whose lap the challenges of creating and managing this unified experience falls.

We invited Softchoice’s own IT Manager James Ambursley and Unified Communications Expert Frank Ball to sit down over a cup of joe and discuss the promise and challenges of BYOD.

What are you overall thoughts on the advent of Bring Your Own Device?

Frank: At the end of the day, it’s a win for everybody – even IT and even if they’re not seeing the light just quite yet. BYOD and the unified communications and collaboration tools behind the scenes that make it a reality ultimately help organizations move with greater speed and agility. It’s technology that empowers people to communicate more effectively, improving business processes and helping businesses achieve better profitability.

James: Well, BYOD is one of those new buzz terms in the industry and I think what it really means is “look out!” Unified communications sounds like a great answer for many organizations but I have concerns that the theory and reality don’t mesh up in a whole host of areas – end user experience/performance, security, resource use and compatibility. [Read more…]