A few weeks ago I wrote a blog piece called "Bring Your Own Delusion (BYOD)". In this piece I explored the thought that reactions to recent BYOD noise are largely emotional.
This time round I want to take a look at something less emotional.
While the story of Darth Vader’s fight against the Rebellion is not a true and accurate representation of the average organization, there are parallels to be drawn.
How would Darth Vader have reacted if he was told he could only use a standard issue Empire phaser gun and had to leave his lightsaber at home? Especially difficult for him as all the spaceships he travelled in were Imperial Fleet and thus work vessels…
Many agree that consumerization of IT is being augmented (if not exactly driven) by organizational leadership acquiring new tablets, smartphones or other technological widgets that allows them to become just a little bit more mobile. These are then noticed by colleagues and staff and assumed to be acceptable pieces of technology and so the spread of similar technology begins.
There are numerous instances of senior staffers coming from one project to another and bringing with them the tools that made them successful in their previous projects. The very tools that made them attractive to the organization they have moved to. These tools are tried and tested in those individual's work processes and get brought along because those people know beyond any shadow of doubt that those tools make them more effective.
Sure, Darth Vader could have run the Death Star and fought the Rebel Alliance without a lightsaber, but it would most certainly have made it more difficult for him to do so. His minions would have feared his use of the dark side of the Force, with or without lightsaber, but his ability to fend off attacks by people with similar training would have been severely hampered.
In much the same way, employees arriving with personal tablets that are configured with all the right apps and processes for them to be super-efficient at what they do are equipped to fight the competition or drive value much better.
Consumerization IS happening.
People ARE bringing their own devices.
The only thing that CIO’s should be doing (can you say “vast sweeping generalization?”) is making sure that their strategies allow for the education of their staff about the risks that they are currently exposed to and that they schedule regular user feedback sessions so that they can stay on top of what their users are trying to achieve.
By doing this they will make sure their teams are aware of risk areas and trends within their user base and will be able to proactively respond to changes in behaviour and need.
At Mimecast I recently heard one of our customers' CIO's (large legal firm) say something along the lines of "As long as they bring their device and intent to me, I will enable what they need, and be aware of what they are doing. This way I will always be seen as a hero rather than a villain"
I tweet about these thoughts as Barry_Gill and welcome your feedback!