Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

Summary: Many executives argue that allowing personal technologies in the workplace is not actually a strong recruitment or retention tool, according to a new report.

TOPICS: Mobility, CXO, Cisco

Although several reports in the last few months have posited that allowing employees to use personal devices in the workplace is becoming commonplace, this might actually be a myth, according to a new study published by Avanade, a business technology solutions and managed services provider.

Last month, Cisco published a survey that found many IT and HR departments have started considering encouraging the BYOD trend, among others, as competitive advantages when hiring young professionals, in particular.

Yet, Avanade's research has found that many executive respondents don't actually agree that allowing personal technologies in the workplace is a strong recruitment or retention tool.

Less than one-third of business leaders have changed their policies to make their workplace more appealing to younger employees, and only 20 percent said they believe allowing personal computing technologies in the enterprise will benefit recruitment and retention efforts.

Avanade’s global chief technology officer Tyson Hartman explained within the report that consumerization of IT has less to do with the employees themselves but more so with how they work.

"Our research shows that productivity and anywhere access are rated significantly higher by executives over improved employee morale or providing greater responsibilities to younger employees," Hartman added in the statement.

Earlier this week, Cisco released another report that found nearly half of IT managers and executives polled in six leading economies said they would never let employees bring their own devices to work.

Nevertheless, there are a few findings in the report that would seem to contradict the idea that businesses aren't giving up on the BYOD trend altogether.

At least 65 percent of C-level executives surveyed replied that the consumerization of IT is a top priority in their organization, and on average, companies are allocating at least a quarter of their IT budgets to manage IT consumerization efforts.

For reference, Avanade’s global survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, surveyed 605 C-level executives, IT decision makers and business unit leaders at top companies located in 17 countries across North America, Europe, South America and Asia between October and November 2011.


Topics: Mobility, CXO, Cisco

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  • How do you stop people bringing their phone to work?

    How do you stop people bringing their phone to work? I can see forbidding a non-authorized device to access the corporate network -- my empoyer does that -- but are you going to search everyone coming in the building and confiscate their phones and tablets? That seems ridiculous. (Although, come to think of it, does Apple do that?) If not, employees can access their private email and facebook and whatnot whenever they want. This seems like a non-issue to me.
    • RE: Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

      @bmeacham98@... Actually its not all that hard to do. We use a filter appliance (there are lots of different ones) that block access to places we don't want people to go. For example, Facebook is off limits by default for all. If you can make a business need for it, we'll add you as an exception into the appliance. This is not a proxy, we don't need to change anything on the end device nor our routers, the appliance simple 'listens' on port 80 (and others) for restricted areas and then redirects the user to a web page where they can request access. Our IT department spends less than 60 minutes a MONTH taking care of web access requests.
      • RE: Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

        @ccs9623 I guess I did not make myself clear. If the phone connects to the internet via the telephone network (3G or 4G), not wireless access to your corporate network, then how are you going to stop it?
  • RE: Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

    Maybe the best way for companies to handle this is to establish public wifi completely separate from the corporate systems. That would keep employees out of the corporate side, while making sure they aren't sucking up mobile bandwidth as well. If they are corporate phones then implement a policy for the device. Realistically people are going to use their phones all the time and companies benefit from employees having real time access to calls, messages, multimedia and apps at their finger tips.
  • Overwhelming Variety

    Most enterprises have standard equipment so that it makes managing the enterprise easier. The occasional new device can be tolerated but if every employee brought their own computer, cell phone, tablets and similar things, then it becomes hard to keep everything running. The broad range of cell phones or computers can make IT support less effective and can increase time to complete troubleshooting.

    One way for BYOD to work is for the individual to accept that they are responsible for their equipment from making it work to repairing it on their own dime. Small networks can absorb the changes easier than enterprise networks.
  • RE: Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

    As a Network manager for a mid size business... we don't care if you bring your phone to work. Knock yourself out. We just won't allow it to sync with our E-mail or sharepoint servers. You need a mobile phone that does that... you get one of our company owned Blackberry devices.
  • RE: Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

    Most Enterprise IT is shitty beyond belief. People don't want to BYOD because of some irrational attachment to their iPads, Dropbox or other non-sanctioned services, but because there is no other way to get things done.

    We had exactly the same dynamic when PCs started displacing mainframe apps in the 80s, with exactly the same reactionary attitudes from the IT priesthood, with its focus on process over results. Why should the result be any different?
  • Dependent of Organizational Type

    Like many other topics in this space (e.g. IT consumerization) this really comes down to the organizational type and its not really possibly to group the entire IT industry into a single bucket when asking such questions.

    For example, for the standard clock-in / clock-out workers at Walmart it doesn't make sense to have a BYOPC model, can you really imagine the person at the register having a barcode scanner attached to their own MacBook Air? Not really...

    There are many organizations where the standard user mixes personal life with business life but there are also many that don't. Some organizations will also have both hence will need a policy that can accommodate both.

    As I have mentioned on other articles, the challenge for IT is not managing to "change" to adapt the new ways and new technology but to create an environment that suits the "requirements" of the users and sometimes that will mean accommodating both types in harmony.

    Jon Wallace
    Director, Emerging Technology & Strategy
  • RE: Accommodating personal devices at work and other IT 'myths'

    What "myth"?

    The way that you have written this article implies that support for personal devices is not a priority and that Avanade???s research confirms your position. If you read the report you will actually see that it confirms the opposite. The report is even introduced with the following statement

    Myth 1: Businesses Are Resisting the Consumerization of IT
    Key Finding: Enterprises are embracing the consumerization of IT change

    Please try harder

    Simon Bramfitt

    Anyone wanting to read the reports can find it here