Choose Your Own Device – CYOD
In my last post, I discussed how BYOD is increasingly being adopted in organisations as end-users are starting to demand the use of their own personal devices to conduct work while away from the desk. I questioned the reality of BYOD, what’s happening right now, and how this is being managed. I explored the shift that is prompting many organisations to review the end-user platform and seek to offer a subtly different form of BYOD: Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)
Under the CYOD scheme, an organisation gives the user the freedom to choose from a selection of devices, all of which will be corporate owned and managed, but that gives the user the freedom to operate on the platform that is most appropriate for their job function. The upside for IT is that they are able to restrict the variety of devices they are required to manage, but enable the user with a platform they are comfortable with.
With this breadth of devices and platforms in mind, we’re also seeing a shift away from the traditional SOE managed desktop towards a more fluid model. Applications and data are being abstracted from the device and user, and provided as an end-user service instead. This means a user is able to consume the resources and IT services they require in the manner most appropriate for their role.
For me, that means I can consume information (emails, corporate updates, reporting services) on my smart device, and use my laptop for the creation of content, responses and other tasks requiring greater resources.
I believe the modern mobile worker is all about outcomes. The services we consume regardless of device, are there to enable us to deliver on our commitments to the business. Within organisations that truly embrace the concept of workspaces of the future, IT departments recognise this and build services to enable outcomes, described by one of my client as moving themselves “from the backroom and into the boardroom.” Enabling a CYOD, or BYOD policy is one part of that.
With that in mind let me finish with a few learnings from my experiences:
- The execution of a successful X-YOD strategy is only truly successful where an IT department has a clearly defined view of why they doing this and a genuine commitment from executive leadership on both business and IT sides to embrace the potential benefits of such a strategy.
- Consider user experience: The push for X-YOD comes from consumerisation, in turn driven by the simplicity of tools people use in everyday life. If it is complex to abide by the corporate file share system, people will gravitate to the tools they know.
- Invest in user education and awareness: Projects have been deemed a failure due to lack of user uptake. User education is often the one thing that led to the difference between success and failure. Therefore it’s worth taking the time to explain why a strategy is being embarked upon, and how to get the most out it.
- Understand security and compliance requirements: Engage Legal and HR departments early in the discussion to ensure your strategy is appropriate and viable in your market. Understand who owns data, where it is allowed to live and who can have access to it.
- Adopt an inclusive rather than exclusive approach to applications: Users resist change when it prevents them from doing the things they were able to do before. Is this a business obligation that means a specific application or website must be blocked in the corporate environment? If not, then what are benefits of blocking it?
- Clear, concise and logical Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) are much more easily understood and normally more effective than complex and high touch versions.
- The most successful X-YOD strategy focusses on enabling employees within the bounds of compliance and regulatory requirements, rather than forcing a particular method or performing a task.
That’s all from me this time, but look out for my thoughts on the how network connectivity is the cornerstone of the modern mobile worker and their technology needs next.