With employees bringing a wider variety of devices into the workplace than ever before, IT should be forgiven for still focusing on bring-your-own-device strategies.
Unfortunately, however, the days of BYOD are fast coming to an end. Today, IT should be focusing bring-your-own-anything (BYOx) – from devices to platforms, IT has to rise to the challenge of managing a variety devices and applications, so employees can work however and wherever they choose.
The problem is IT departments do not work within unlimited budgets to enable them to support all the requests coming in from across the business. Which begs the question, what does the relentless march of consumerisation mean for enterprise IT?
Firstly, IT has to realise that rising to the consumerisation challenges no longer means being able to manage multiple devices, but rather managing people and how they use and access data.
Only in taking this approach will IT departments be able deliver on a BYOx strategy that will help the organisations they work within to meet their overall strategic goals – which no doubt have flexibility, agility and increased productivity at the top of their lists.
Next, when implementing a BYOx policy, IT departments need to ask the right questions. How can I ensure real-time security, control and compliance on employee owned BYOD devices? How can I ensure a high level of end user adoption through a frictionless end user experience? And how can I provide access to corporate data anywhere from corporate PCs, employee-owned PCs, tablets and smartphones?
Only having the answers to these types of questions, and then having the ability to align outcomes to the business’ strategy, will help IT navigate the complexity of the BYOx landscape.
Finally, IT departments need to start thinking differently and more strategically. They need to learn how to move with the business, and focus on continually adapting and changing themselves.
Ultimately, IT departments need to become more service centric, and less focused on purchasing and configuring devices and operating systems. Leaders within the department also have to cultivate a culture of future focus and be at the cutting edge of new IT trends – if only to see how they would affect their own business.
All the above aside, perhaps IT should also realise the ability to navigating a more complex and BYOx-driven landscape is to move away from deliver IT for IT’s sake – often delivering solutions that solve immediate device-driven concerns instead of enhancing user experience or assisting to increase productivity.
This is a short-sighted approach. According to Gartner, 35% of businesses' spending will be allocated to IT costs by year 2015. Putting restrictive solutions in place only makes users try and find around them, which can inadvertently lead to more risk for the organisation.
By putting the user’s needs with regards to data access and use at the centre of a BYOx and IT policy, organisations can find what the best fit is and help themselves to navigate around the challenges of consumerisation.
An efficient, harmonious and future proof BYOx strategy in a complex device-driven landscape is possible, but it involves putting the user first and not the machine.
Sourced form Keith Turnbull, chief development officer and SVP, AppSense