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7/1/2014
09:06 AM
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BYOD Expectations Just Keep Rising: InformationWeek Video

Wasn't BYOD supposed to be easier for IT to manage by now? That was before it became bring your own everything.

A funny thing happened to BYOD on its way to the tech acronym hall of fame: Bring your own device programs became about much more than devices. During the past few years, so many employees began using cloud apps and other services -- whether IT approved or not -- that BYOD became bring your own everything: Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Apps… you name it.

Whatever it takes to get the work done. Just bring a credit card.

When I discussed BYOD with CIOs two or three years ago, they cheerfully told me they had picked a mobile device management vendor. The reality of what happens when sales teams hit the road with tablets, or when project teams start sharing data on Dropbox, hadn't become apparent.

Today, IT organizations face heightened user expectations not only about smartphones and other devices, but also about data access -- and so you can't discuss mobile without also discussing cloud and SaaS.

[Does the Internet of Things further erode privacy? Read Internet Of Things: Current Privacy Policies Don't Work.]

When it comes to conventional BYOD, IT unfortunately can't just ask everyone to provide and care for their own phones, Onyeka Nchege, CIO of Coca-Cola Bottling, told the audience at the InformationWeek Conference in April. Folks at Coca-Cola Bottling thought BYOD sounded great until the phones broke. View the video clip of Nchege's remarks below:

David Guzman, CIO of H.D. Smith, faces the special regulatory pressures of the healthcare industry. See the video clip below for what he had to say about balancing control and letting employees bring popular Android-based phones into the enterprise:

Guzman found a palatable phone solution in iOS devices. But he really gets animated when he starts talking about winning his business colleagues over with FusionOps, a cloud-based analytics application that gives them better data than they're used to. I would bet that, for H.D. Smith's workforce, the improved analytics will more than offset their annoyance at not getting a company-sanctioned Android device.

Better analytics equals better data and faster decisions. As I recently heard Dell CIO Adriana Karaboutis declare to the crowd at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, data is the new currency.

If you try to block user access to that currency, well, good luck with your career. Users will do whatever they need to do to get around your roadblocks. In the age of digital business, speed is of the essence.

Coca-Cola Bottling's Nchege uses a traffic metaphor to describe his approach to users adopting cloud services ad hoc: He doesn't want to hold up stop signs, but he does hold up caution signs -- and offer safe alternatives. Watch another video clip featuring Nchege below:

Connected automobiles, wearables such as Google Glass, and other emerging Internet of Things gadgets only increase the scope of the data in play. Three years ago, you worried about lost phones. Today, if you're thinking ahead, you worry what will happen when the vice president of sales gets in his connected car and the data really starts to fly around.

These discussions might bring out the type A control freak in some IT leaders. But be careful before you let that part of your brain dominate.

The double whammy: IT leaders might also face a power struggle with the marketing organization over who will own customer-facing technologies such as mobile apps. Whom do you think the CEO will want to own those apps so crucial to the digital business: the reactionary, fearful CIO or the bold, customer-focused CMO?

CIOs like Nchege and Guzman are already positioning themselves as people who find a way, who don't ignore the realities of what users want and need to do with mobile and cloud software and services.

BYOD has become more complex. But here's the half-full part of the glass: If you get bring your own everything, you're going to become indispensable to your digital business's CEO.

And that's a lot more exciting than being a phone management guru.

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Laurianne McLaughlin currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Editor-in-Chief, overseeing daily online editorial operations. Prior to joining InformationWeek in May, 2011, she was managing editor at CIO.com. Her writing and editing work has won multiple ASBPE (American ... View Full Bio
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ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 3:02:18 PM
Re: BYOD Expectations Just Keep Rising
In my conversations with IT leaders on this topic, and digital business broadly, I've often referred to Onyeka's reminder that while IT feels like it's hurtling along, pushing the limits, nothing that we're saying is coming out bold enough for business units and employees when it comes to mobile.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/8/2014 | 11:16:40 AM
Re: BYOD Expectations Just Keep Rising
Onyeka, great to see you here. Thanks again for sharing your insight at the conference.
onyekanchege
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onyekanchege,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2014 | 10:50:21 AM
Re: BYOD Expectations Just Keep Rising
I absolutely agree with the "Mouse Cookie" analogy.  Adaptability is the key to all things Mobile/Cloud/Internet.  The ability to circunavigate your current situation and have the vision to see what's coming down the road and be able to stop on a dime and chage directions as needed to impact your business positively.  Tough order but as IT practitioners, we have to be able to stay relevant and move with the demands of the business.

Thanks for sharing your comments
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/7/2014 | 11:27:47 AM
Re: BYOD Expectations Just Keep Rising
If you give a mouse a cookie...nice analogy. This would make an interesting interview question. Use a children's book to discuss your BYOD strategy.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2014 | 11:19:00 AM
Re: BYOD Expectations Just Keep Rising
BYOD is certainly a touchy issue, Laurianne, but moreover, you're right to point out that it's quickly brancing out into broader and more complex topics that eclipse the initial conversation. Maybe that's just a result of the technology at work here - mobile blends into cloud, cloud blends into virtual, and these all blend into concepts like, say, agile development. You can't talk about one without talking about the others. That certainly goes double with your users.'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie' was a very formative book for me, and it seems that modern tech-savvy users are cut from the same cloth as Mr. Mouse; Whatever you give them, it immediately causes them to want something more.

The biggest lesson for CIOs here is, I think, that you need to be adaptive and think on your feet. That may sound a bit trite at this point, but there's really no better way to put it; Any one strategy you come up with is bound to be obsolete by next year. You can try to plan for what's coming down the pipeline, but what if, like the Blackberry Mr. Guzman describes, it never comes? You can't be marrried to any one plan of action, and you certainly can't be married to tradition. Fortunately, most IT pros ought to be people who love technology, so all we have to do is embrace it!
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 9:54:59 AM
Re: BYOE
Well, for me as an employee I do embrace the idea of BYOD. I understand what CIOs really worry about it -  it's  indeed  difficult to control, so on and so forth. But this is not really that bad as long as certain security measures are in place. For example, I can use my mobile phone to check company email but I am forced  to enable PIN code based device protection.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/1/2014 | 3:22:17 PM
BYOE
It struck me while speaking to CIOs at the conference how quickly any BYOD conversation turned to cloud services. Does that reflect your top worry when it comes to BYOD, readers?
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