Blog archive - April 2012
Use the blog to discuss and comment on the latest industry insights provided by our analyst experts.
by Chris Rodriguez 30 Apr 2012
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2011 ushered in a new breed of cyber threats that brought major organizations including Google, RSA, and Lockheed Martin to their knees and left many others searching for answers. These attacks were alarmingly sophisticated, effective, and elusive. Furthermore, the sophistication of these attacks indicates well organized crime syndicates and nation-states with deep pockets, which elicited the creation of a new industry term, the “advanced persistent threat” (APT). These threats and a new attacker profile have captivated the security industry’s attention as customers demand adequate protection tools. Advanced Persistent Threats: Reality or Myth View more PowerPoint from rahulmohandas It is no surprise then that entrepreneurial companies such as Critical Watch, FireEye, Bit9, and Click Security now offer solutions specifically designed to help customers defend against APTs. However, despite the widespread concern about APTs, IT organizations are still expected to block the thousands of traditional commodity threats that bombard their networks every day. Therefore, larger security vendors should develop new product functionality of their own to protect customers against APTs. As multiple security companies attempt to combat these threats, a number of different security technologies and strategies have emerged such as “big data,” intelligence and analytics, anti-bot, advanced anti-malware, and APT detection solutions. While there remains much debate as to which technologies are most effective (or feasible) against advanced threats, there is the sense that every security vendor should be working diligently to block this attack vector. Small, start-up companies have the benefit of a clear, specific goal such as APT detection and have the business agility to adjust strategies as the market demands. Too often, larger security companies are more reactive and will wait to identify best-of-breed product design and go-to-market strategies before developing a competing offering. Unfortunately, in the modern threat landscape, there is little time for major IT security companies to enjoy the luxury of a learning period. That is why Check Point’s newest release of its R75 security operating system caught my attention. R75.40 offers compelling new security technologies such as ThreatCloud, Anti-Virus, and Anti-Bot protection. ThreatCloud is a collaborative network designed by Check Point to collect attack and attacker data from the company’s global install base of network gateways, sensors, third-party research, and internal research. This enables Check Point to dynamically deliver real-time updates to customers’ security gateways, thereby ensuring the highest level of protection possible. ThreatCloud also powers Check Point’s anti-bot and advanced anti-malware software blades. These blades utilize multi-tier APT detection and prevention capabilities to block threats that traditional IPS, firewall, and endpoint solutions cannot address. R75.40 also offers a multitude of additional new features including data leakage prevention remediation and inbound SSL inspection. However, in a time when it seems that every company is vulnerable, Check Point’s advanced security technologies deliver valuable new functionality for customers. ***** Industry Analyst Chris Rodriguez can be found knee deep in spreadsheets or e-mailed here. For additional analysis of this market, check out Frost & Sullivan’s annual global market study entitled Analysis of the Unified Threat Management (UTM) Market and the Impact of Convergence or learn more about Network Security.
by Rob Arnold 24 Apr 2012
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As a Unified Communications (UC) Industry Analyst and full-time teleworker, I don’t know how I let National Telework Week slip by last month without blogging about it. Maybe it’s because 2012 was merely the second year that National Telework Week was observed. But most likely it’s because teleworking is a routine practice for me. Still, teleworking is a big deal. Everyone recognizes the reduced fossil fuel consumption and pollution (3,452 tons of pollutants saved during Telework Week 2012 per Telework Exchange), time savings, work/life balance, and other benefits that teleworking can offer. Most people would like the flexibility of teleworking at least some of the time. When a WorldatWork Telework Trendlines 2009 survey asked U.S. workers about their interest in working from home, only 21% said they were not at all interested. Survey participants were also asked what portion of their work could be done from home: 29% said they could do less than 20%; 27% said 20-40%; 11% said 40-60%; 9% said 60-80%; and 24% said 80% or more While I don’t have insider knowledge of this survey, I’m taking a short leap to assume that a majority of the respondents did not believe they have the appropriate tools to effectively work from home. UC technology facilitates effective teleworking. Frost & Sullivan defines UC as an integrated set of voice, video and data applications, all of which leverage computer- and telephony-based presence information. In a nutshell, UC is about providing users with ubiquitous access to their communications capabilities – meaning that users can work from nearly anywhere and anytime they need. An important aspect of UC is that telecommuters have access to the same communications tool set at home as they have at work, making it less apparent that they are not in the office. Personal call handling features within UC clients or dashboards enable users to route inbound calls to any number, and route outbound calls through the corporate exchange so that only their business extension is visible to the far-end party. Rich presence applications enable colleagues located at different locations to determine when is the best time to reach one another, by what means, and when they are not to be disturbed. In effect, rich presence can make workers more reachable regardless of where they are physically located. In addition, rich presence gives supervisors insight into the activities of their teleworking staff members. Click-to-communicate from soft clients can empower users to escalate IM interactions to voice or video sessions on the fly in order to share ideas and rich media content, solve problems and move projects forward even though the team members may never meet in person. Teleworkers can join training sessions conducted via Web conferencing to ensure they are educated on the latest policies and initiatives. Web conferencing can also provide a secure forum for transferring documents and other content, effectively replacing the less secure “in basket” located in the office. Videoconferencing can help distributed co-workers develop tighter bonds and personal relationships with colleagues they may rarely or never see in-person. Visual communications also enhances interactions and makes them more productive through non-verbal cues. Reading body language, gestures and facial expressions can provide valuable insights about a co-worker’s mood or reactions. Users can leverage this information to continuously alter the tone, pace and flow of information as videoconference sessions progress—much like in-person conversations. For the privilege of teleworking, employers expect their staff to uphold in-office productivity standards when they work from home. My bet is that if more workers were armed with UC tools many more survey participants would have told Telework Trendlines that they could do substantially more of their work from home. When that happens, the environmental savings from teleworking in general and during National Telework Week, though impressive now, will be much more so in the future. This article was posted on the PGi Green Blog which focuses on how communications technology can help the environment.
by Jake Wengroff 24 Apr 2012
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I'm moderating a live Twitterchat with HP right now. Please search and follow the hashtag #HPESchat, or view the tweets below.
by Daniel Ruppar 19 Apr 2012
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Posted the ATA link the other day, but wanted to post this as well along with our pre-event survey link for interested parties.... The telehealth industry can be convoluted and confusing despite significant efforts by the industry. As a result, success in telehealth hinges upon proper understanding and identification of the markets, as well as an awareness of voice of the customer basic questions, such as who are the customers and what are their needs? Meet Frost & Sullivan’s leading Connected Health analysts at ATA 2012 at Booth 1703 To share and explore the Top 20 Telehealth Markets Click Here to Participate in Frost & Sullivan’s Pre-ATA 2012 Survey We also invite you to participate in the above survey. Current users and vendors’ perspectives are welcome. The survey should take only about five minutes of your time. Resulting research will be shared with all survey participants. We look forward to meeting you at ATA 2012.
by Jake Wengroff 19 Apr 2012
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The blogpost below was first published on April 19, 2012 on Social Media Today. Clipped from: bit.ly (share this clip) I keep asking myself: Why couldn’t I have discovered Instagram or Pinterest? With last week’s news of Facebook acquiring photosharing app Instagram for an eye-popping $1 billion, many social media experts are now turning their attention to the future of Pinterest, another hot, photo-centric social network. Though I’m smarting that I didn’t create either Instagram or Pinterest, and wasn’t lucky enough to know Mark Zuckerberg & Co. in the early days, there’s hope for me and others wanting to embrace social to build brands and companies. Turns out, after several discussions with developers over the last few months, I learned that any publisher – and aren’t we all publishers these days? – can turn a website into a social network – and reap huge rewards. I’m not talking about starting a social network from scratch – which was apparently the way to go a few years ago. You could have used Ning or hired your own developers for that. Ning is almost dead (it has a new owner), and developers are expensive. Instead, a new category of developer has emerged right under everyone’s nose: the social infrastructure provider. One of the most easily recognizable services of social infrastructure providers, such as Gigya and Janrain, is social login: allowing you to offer ‘Sign in with Facebook’ or ‘Sign in with Twitter’ on your website. I’ve written about social login in the past. Beyond login, infrastructure can be extended to recommendations, gamification, and other plugins. You can just imagine the rich data that results from such social plugins, feeds, and analytics. This data can be used to fuel marketing strategies, advertising creative and ad serving, and content and product recommendations. Feedback, opinions, and endorsements all drive sales, and what better to draw from than your users’ social graphs? As such, social infrastructure can form part of a business’ key strategy for serving the right content to the right end-user at the right time, thereby driving a purchasing decision. Even for B2B or professional services companies, the power of adding ‘Sign in with LinkedIn’ could do wonders to a database of more sophisticated buyers who control a much longer buying cycle. I trust that this category will grow, as the need for expanded user info and social CRM will take center stage. And let’s face it: we need to thank Facebook, Twitter, and others for familiarizing users with social features – we just need a way to bring all of that data into our organizations, make it relevant, glean it for insights, and utilize it to advise on business decisions. You may not discover a hot social startup, but you can have access to the data of one.
by Jake Wengroff 17 Apr 2012
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Below is the PowerPoint presentation I delivered for a BrightTALK webinar, covering metrics, ROI, strategies, and tactics for the B2B social media marketer. Exploiting Opportunities in B2B Social Media View more presentations from Frost & Sullivan
by Daniel Ruppar 16 Apr 2012
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Multiple people from our Connected Health group will be at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) meeting in San Jose, as Frost & Sullivan is a Media partner for this event. We also will be at booth 1703 in the Expo and surveying on trends in telehealth. Hope to see you there. Feel free to contact Daniel Ruppar for scheduled meeting opportunities through our main number 210-348-1000.
by Daniel Ruppar 09 Apr 2012
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Is technology changing the doctor-patient relationship? As preventable medical conditions such as obesity continue to grow so does the need for patient involved healthcare. The doctor-patient relationship is critically important to bridging the gap between passive patients and informed medical consumers. Innovative technologies are the enabling factor for this, but are they succeeding — and how long will it be before we start seeing significant changes? Moderator: Zachary Bujnoch, Senior Industry Analyst, Frost and Sullivan Panelists: James White, Vice President, Connected Hospital, Alcatel-Lucent Gene Frantz, TI Principal Fellow, Texas Instruments William Reid, FACHE, VP, Product Management, Numera Alexandra Von Plato, Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer, Digitas Health and Razorfish Health Intro: Jill Gilbert, Producer, Digital Health Summit
by Elka Popova 06 Apr 2012
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It’s been more than a week since I returned from Enterprise Connect in Orlando, but I only now found the time to put together my thoughts on some of the key announcements. As expected, cloud was one of the key topics at this major industry event. Coincidentally, I am also in the process of updating Frost & Sullivan’s North American Hosted IP Telephony & UC Services Market study, which makes this topic particularly interesting to me. I also had the honor of presenting on hosted UC at one of the general sessions (slide deck available upon request). At Enterprise Connect, Avaya launched a long-anticipated cloud strategy and portfolio dubbed Avaya Collaborative Cloud (see press release). With several leading PBX vendors already boasting cloud solutions (more specifically, multi-tenant or multi-instance platforms hosted by the vendors themselves or their partners and delivered as a service to business customers), Avaya is somewhat late to the market with the announcement of a cloud strategy. It should be noted that all PBX vendors (including Avaya) are developing virtualized versions of their premises-based platforms for private, internal clouds. But the more interesting phenomenon is their foray into the hosted, public cloud space. Avaya Collaborative Cloud is a framework, a broad umbrella for a series of cloud solutions that will become available over an undefined period of time. The first product in this suite to be launched shortly (by mid-2012) is AvayaLive Connect—a public cloud solution targeted at very small businesses of up to 20 users. The solution will be available for purchase through a Web portal (using Avaya web.alive technology, now rebranded as AvayaLive Engage). At the back end, the solution will be powered by the former Nortel SCS technology. The solution will feature basic PBX functionality, voice conferencing, voice/unified messaging, video, mobility, presence and instant messaging (IM)/chat. It will support PC, Apple Mac, iOS and Android devices. The key selling point, according to Avaya spokespeople, is the speed and ease of deployment. Basically, small business owners can swipe a credit card, download the soft clients, and start using the solution within minutes. Hard phones are available for purchase, if required. Currently, the solution only supports Avaya desktop phones, but third-party phones can be tested and certified based on customer demand. Another key advantage appears to be the solution’s price point. While Avaya has not publicly announced its pricing structure, I challenged them to compare their anticipated pricing to the broad range of hosted voice/UC solutions currently available in the market. In North America, businesses can find a hosted voice solution for as little as $25/user/month, no bandwidth included, with bundle fees ranging all the way up to $100/user/month with access line, contact center functionality, and all kinds of bells and whistles included (even hardware sometimes). Avaya spokespeople claim their solution will be very competitively priced vis-à-vis those other options. The flat monthly fee will include all features and capabilities, as well as local and long-distance calling. As is obvious from the feature/functionality description of AvayaLive Connect, it very much resembles a Skype solution. Skype appears to be even ahead of Avaya with some recently launched desktop sharing capabilities. However, Avaya has another advantage in that it offers 800 numbers and a business auto attendant that can help small businesses present a more professional appearance to customers and partners calling from outside. It should be noted that plenty of other hosted business VoIP solutions include an auto attendant as well as more advanced PBX features, such as a receptionist console, hunt groups and even ACD capabilities. Based on my discussions with the Avaya team, I feel that more features and functionality (including desktop sharing) may become available in the near future. I have to admit that the launch of AvayaLive Connect came as a surprise to me. With Cisco betting heavily on its Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) targeted at larger businesses, and several dozen service providers targeting the North American small business market with a broad array of hosted solutions, I would have expected Avaya to leverage its Session Manager (originally a telco platform) and its Aura Architecture to go after larger businesses straight from the start. However, it seems to be using AvayaLive Connect as a proof of concept, and as a means of fleshing out its business strategy for delivering cloud solutions to larger businesses. I am confident that we will soon see a more HCS-like service from Avaya. In the meantime, AvayaLive Connect promises to be as appealing as any other over-the-top hosted UC solution out there, but it is tough to figure out what its key differentiators are going to be. One of my key concerns is that it is delivered over the public Internet. Many application service providers (ASPs) got burned with their early Internet telephony offerings. The more successful service providers quickly acknowledged the importance of managing the solution all the way to the desktop. Small businesses with no in-house technical expertise choose hosted offerings for the convenience and simplicity, but they also need it to work properly and appreciate having a single throat to choke (as in the case of a service provider delivering a PBX+bandwidth type of a bundle). When the solution is offered over managed bandwidth, the provider has much greater control over the quality and reliability of the service, which helps ensure customer satisfaction and better customer retention rates. It is true, however, that the public Internet has become a lot more reliable over the past few years. It is also true that, due to customer demand, many service providers are now introducing bring-your-own-bandwidth (BYOB) offerings for businesses that choose to deploy their access line from a different provider. Avaya has announced a partnership with Level 3 for a managed-bandwidth offering and potentially a white-label service marketed by Level 3. In my opinion, such an option will be quite appealing to more demanding customers where service reliability is of critical importance. Avaya did not make a statement about tech support, but I hope it makes it easy and convenient for busy, possibly low-tech business owners to not only deploy, but also maintain a cloud-based communications solution. I have a few outstanding questions for Avaya, as follows: Who will be providing dial tone (along with E911, CALEA compliance, etc.)? Will Avaya be acting as an intermediary for its business customers or will they be handling this on their own? Federation appears to be a key focal area for Avaya. Will AvayaLive Connect become federated with other IM or voice solutions (something small businesses may find quite appealing when dealing with other small businesses)? What integrations are planned for the future—both with other hosted/cloud solutions and premises-based platforms and applications? CRM integration is a big trend among hosted providers today (driven by customer demand). Are there any advantages to deploying AvayaLive Connect as a branch-office solution where the main office is deploying Avaya infrastructure? I am also curious how Avaya is planning to reach out to the extremely fragmented small business customer audience. For now, it appears Avaya is planning to use mostly e-commerce tools. I believe some consumer-type advertising (TV, radio, retail outlets, printed media) may be effective with small business decision makers. Other hosted providers have also found that an agent network can help reach their target audience. Overall, I would encourage small businesses to give AvayaLive Connect some serious consideration as a viable cloud option. I’d be glad to help compare the solution to other hosted solutions once it becomes commercially available.
by Daniel Ruppar 06 Apr 2012
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There was great attendance and discussion at our event in San Diego around telehealth and mobile health solutions in healthcare. The panel session “mHealth: Are You Ready to Be a Driver of the Future?” featuring executives from Airstrip, Blue Highway, Welldoc, and the Global Hospital Virtualization Program was an exciting one for the conference addressing mobile health, which is of high interest and visibility in the industry currently. One point of discussion was - why is this now a key point for mHealth in medicine? Airstrip Technologies CEO Alan Portela discussed how with the shift to outcomes based medicine, the shortage in physicians, and increased patients with needs for chronic disease management, physicians must become mobile professionals. With that they need immediate access to needed information and decision support regardless of location in order to be able to manage their patient load. Essentially mHealth has become a mission critical technology to bring data to the caregivers wherever they are, versus physicians having to go to one certain place in order to be able to access information for patient care. From the panel, another key point in mHealth is getting the health system to fully understand and realize the ROI of the use of mobile technology in the practice of medicine – which is not just about dollars but more importantly is about outcomes. Portela discussed how the real time transfer of EKG information from an ambulance to the hospital through their solution can enable a cardiologist to diagnose and ready the cath lab before the patient presents, and therefore through that faster cycle time, result in better outcomes, less ICU time, and other direct benefits to the patient and system. Blue Highway CEO Al Di Reinzo gave the example of a seizure patient where first responders can have an EEG read remotely, and therefore be able to make more informed medication decisions on-site prior to transfer, resulting in lower patient risk, and better outcomes. Regarding the continued changes in consultation through mHealth, Danny Petrasek, Director - Global Hospital Virtualization Program, discussed that 50-80% of medical problems can be diagnosed through a conversation, thus presenting an opportunity of a massive volume of care which could be taken on remotely through new options in IT enabled approaches. A shift in increasing remote consultation, especially with the ability to bring diagnosis further in terms of penetration in to the home, brings with it both direct and indirect cost savings. Overall, the panel did an exemplary job addressing major critical issues in mHealth. Due to the advancements in IT and mobile technology over the last several years, telehealth is now at a point of evolution where it can make a transformative difference in the practice of medicine, as well as business models, to deliver an overall continuum of care through connected health solutions.
by Jessica Jeffcoat 05 Apr 2012
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By Jessica Jeffcoat, Research Analyst, and Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, Research Lead, Growth Team Membership™ (GTM) Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Team Membership™ (GTM) recently completed its 2012 survey of sales executives globally. The executives were asked to identify their most pressing challenges for 2012. GTM will focus its best practices research to address the prominent issues identified in the survey. Sales Leadership in 2012—A Snapshot Implementing lead generation strategies is the primary challenge of sales executives. A lack of personnel is the root cause of the primary challenge. In comparison to 2011, staffing levels will remain static while budget levels are expected to increase moderately in 2012. Companies attribute 20 percent of their sales to distribution channels and partnerships. In the main, Sales uses social media to identify and qualify leads. LinkedIn is the primary social media platform used by Sales, and is typically used to improve sales reps’ knowledge of customer needs and to boost brand recognition. 2012 Sales Leadership Survey Executive Summary The 2012 survey reveals that sales executives continue to wrestle with a perennial issue: improving customer focus. Specifically, sales leaders must employ more effective tactics to generate high-quality leads, map their sales cycle to customers’ purchasing behavior, and incorporate customer feedback into their sales strategies. To examine these challenges in more depth, the survey asked respondents to “root cause” their top internal challenges by indicating if they stem from issues with staffing, process, technology/systems, or strategic alignment. Sales executives attribute their challenges to two primary causes: limitations in staffing (limited resources and lack of knowledge) and processes (ineffective processes and inadequate communication). Sales executives are unlikely to see staffing improvements in the next year, as most respondents anticipate staffing levels will remain static in 2012. Budgets, however, are expected to increase moderately in 2012. Despite concerns over inadequate staffing and processes, nearly half (49 percent) of the survey respondents rate their function’s effectiveness as “above average.” Given social media’s prominence and its ability to give sales executives an additional window into customer needs and behaviors, the survey asked respondents about their use of social media. The majority of respondents (54 percent) indicate they participate in social media as part of their sales approach. More specifically sales reps are employing social media to identify and qualify prospects, collect information on customer needs, and maintain customer relationships. Sales executives predictably are using LinkedIn as their primary social media platform and are conducting individual searches and joining special interest groups to enhance their understanding of customer needs. While the majority of respondents actively participate in LinkedIn’s special interest groups, few sales executives moderate their own groups and thus do not take full advantage of LinkedIn’s ability to help boost brand recognition. In response to questions about their use of virtual and social media tools in sales activities, respondents indicate universal use of tele-presence and/or live streaming video to increase sales productivity. However, the majority of sales executives indicate they are not employing social media CRM systems (e.g., Nimble), monitoring platforms (e.g., Radian 6), or dashboards (e.g., Hootsuite or MediaFunnel). This is unfortunate given that these tools magnify the benefits of social media activities by collating customer information, which helps facilitate the creation of customer insights. In addition, more than half of the respondents do not use predictive analytics—the analysis of customer behavioral data to identify patterns and provide insights for customer interactions—which is a key customer analysis tool. It is noteworthy that most sales executives are not using these tools despite citing the need to improve their understanding of customer needs and behavior. Respondent Demographics There were 564 respondents. The respondents work predominantly for privately held (56%) rather than public (34%) companies. The majority of the respondents (69%) work in a business-to-business environment. Most of the respondents (39%) come from firms with revenues below $100 Million (USD). For a more detailed analysis of the survey results, including analyses by business model, please see the attached report. If you have questions regarding the survey, or are interested in learning more about GTM’s marketing best practices, please contact us at: GTMResearch@frost.com, follow us on @Frost_GTM, or visit us at www.gtm.frost.com
by Cynthia Welch 04 Apr 2012
The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend has been on analysts’ radar for several years. However, it’s only recently that corporations have noticed the impact this trend has on their business and employees. BYOD remains a hot topic in part because the consumerization of IT means that employees move faster than their companies; and partially because the industry and subsequently the impact of BYOD continues to evolve. A few years ago, BYOD simply didn’t exist, because Blackberry delivered an end-to-end solution for the enterprise that IT wholly embraced. The discussion was over before it began, or at least tabled indefinitely. The Blackberry solution enabled executives and managers across all industries to be available; to respond by email or text when they were not physically in the office. Gone were the days of having to wait for the boss’s response. Even if away on a business trip, management’s presence was as prevalent as if they were in the corner office. At this time, mobility has not considered a need by the average consumer and joining a mobile device with the corporate network was not concept that employees had even begun to consider. Game Change Apple introduced a game changer with the debut of the iPhone. The iPhone had come to represent a democratization of mobility in the enterprise. Where in the past, virtual presence was granted by IT and reserved for managers, executives, and on call employees; the iPhone and other smartphones were being purchased by employees across the organizational spectrum for their personal use. The boom in mobile consumption meant that Blackberry users began to request network integration on their personal mobile device rather than manage two mobile devices, one for work and one for personal use. Concurrently, seeing the value that these mobile devices offer to their personal communications, rank and file employees started banging on IT’s door for access to their professional data as well. Corporation and IT department are now plagued with issues that surround BYOD brought upon by consumer adoption of iPhone and similar mobile devices. What does it BYOD mean to the enterprise? As employees bring their device to work, many enterprises are reactive, begrudgingly looking the other way, while struggling to develop a formal policy. The enterprise’s primary concerns revolve around security, cost and productivity. Questions posed include how can enterprises protect their data when employees can download any number of applications that could interact with corporate data or even upload the data on their device to third-party cloud services. Additional concerns surrounding legal compliances, privacy issues and device management of OS services are also key topics. Answers to these questions come slower than launches of new devices. My colleague Rob Arnold (@rob_arnold_ucc)points out that most companies are only now acknowledging that they need a definite plan of action and have been slow to accept the staying power of this trend. “What I've been hearing & seeing is that it is still early days for most companies to get a grip on. It appears that most companies are just starting to give in. That means that while new devices are coming into the workplace, they are not necessarily being integrated with the corporate network yet. [Corporations] have just started to allow it, but don't have the systems in place to control or support it. They can't fight it and don't have the resources to fully manage or control it.” What does it BYOD mean to the employee? Employees, on the other hand, are pushing for corporate integration with their device. While not all employees are power users, most employees believe that their device is an acceptable business tool, creating groups of have’s or have not’s within the enterprise ranks. The lack of network integrated and employee issued devices creates a widening gap between employee’s approach to their work and that of their corporations. A rising number of employees utilize their mobile device for work related task, but the number of company issued mobile devices continues to decline. While this may initially seem like a cost savings for the employer by refusing to acknowledge this trend employers are missing out on eager, hyperconnected employees willing to approach their work differently. The more hoops that employees go through to access their company data, the more frustration this causes. Employees have incorporated their mobile devices into all aspects of their personal lives and are not very forgiving of the obstacles that restricts them from extending this tool to their work. Connected employees see their company’s support of their device as a win-win solution, as their smartphone proficiency rises, data plans improve and the lines between work and home further blur. From the employee’s perspective, they could be working anytime anywhere, if not for the restrictions imposed by their corporate IT department. Where do we go from here? IT and corporations will eventually evolve their attitude towards the BYOD movement. However, the change will happen when it’s more cost effective for corporations to integrate the devices to their corporate network than not. Fellow analyst Michael Brandenburg (@mbrandenburg) points out that resolving this issue is a challenge because the IT world has conflicting schools of thought on the matter. On the one hand enabling employees through integration and automation frees up resources but it comes at the cost of losing control. The BYOD movement has IT professionals shouting security, and rightly so. IT is tasked with making sure they know what is going on. IT is also notorious for taking a reactive approach to such projects. With so much on their plate, working towards integrating multiple OS with their corporate network is simply not a high priority. The same can be said for corporations when dealing with such a vast and costly undertaking. For now, it’s an inconvenience and a frustration for employees to not have their devices synched up to their company’s network but is there a cost or productivity value that one can attach to this? Ultimately the enterprise will implement a solution when an ROI can be attached to synching the network with employee mobile devices. Interoperability and a multitude of mobile operating systems is one of the main factors associated with this undertaking. Currently, there are a minimum of five different operating systems to consider; Android, Symbian, iOS, RIM and Microsoft. Not to mention, never ending updates and support will be a constant issue for IT. It’s no question that implementing a BYOD policy will be complex, costly, and labor intensive. Simple solutions have gone the way of the Blackberry. Corporation and IT mangers are now accepting the BYOD trend as a real issue that needs to be addressed. Blackberry’s fall from grace, flanked in the consumer market by both Apple and Android, is eroding its IT-endorsed spot in the enterprise as well, acting as a catalyst for BYOD conversations. The fact that enterprise endorsed devices can lose out to more popular consumer selected options brings to light how much influence users have. As it stands the enterprise has taken a progressive approach by not restricting devices and “living with it”, but ultimately a formal resolution will need to be made. Many solutions are being proposed and at least now, corporations are listening.