Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Real Estate Trends, BYOD, and the Millennials Effect on Enterprise Cabling and Connectors

The Urban Land Institute's "Emerging Trends in Real Estate" outlines some interesting trends in the real estate market.  Businesses are shifting their requirements from offices that place a premium on quality and size to more compact spaces.  These spaces encourage productivity, efficiency and collaboration.  They may disregard cubicles in favor of workbenches and rely on cloud computing to take the place of file cabinets.

Driven by the more than 85.4 million Millennials, these young workers desire the benefits of mobility and interconnectedness using the most up-to-date communications devices allowing them to operate anywhere.  Companies are embracing this concept.  In December, Gartner reported that 70% of survey respondents are planning to implement “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies in the next 12 months.  Companies like Electronic Arts (EA) are moving away from windows-based laptops in favor of iPads, MacBooks and smartphones.  Approximately 10,000 phones currently fall under their BYOD policy.  EA is also replacing offices and cubicles with open office space.

From the structured cabling standpoint, these trends could have a profound impact, not only on the volumes of cable and connectors, but also require rethinking the cabling-systems design.  There will be less focus on tethering every workspace back to the telecommunications room (TR) and more focus on wireless and wireless performance. While we don’t expect TRs to disappear, we do see the number of physical connections to the traditional work-area-outlet (WAO) decreasing over time. The new version of the WAO will be the wireless access point (WAP).