Ian Gotts of Successful Workplace really nailed it with this title for a recent article: “Why the CIO Hates Christmas.”
It's not that CIOs are being Grinches, staring down from their mountain perches at all the Whos of Whoville celebrating their day of joy and togetherness.
But they are getting mildly annoyed at all the gifts being passed about. In particular, all those electronic gifts now filling stockings and piling up under the trees. Even little Cindy Lou Who may be getting a tablet computer this holiday season.
And, guess what? All the Whos will be bringing their gadgets to work. If there's anyone plotting BYOD (bring your own device) adoption patterns, it wouldn’t be surprising to see spikes in early January. Followed by sudden drops in IT department productivity in February—especially when they are told they need to support and secure these new devices.
As Gotts describes it:
“Apple has penetrated business by providing devices that are the electronic equivalent to jewelery which consumers have bought with their own money and have taken to work with them. Once inside the building, these consumers cleverly turn into business people and demand that the IT department make their Apple iThingy connect to the corporate network, approve calendar requests and send and receive any and all communications.”
Gotts goes on to suggest some positive steps CIOs can take to manage the BYOD challenge before it gets out of hand:
Establish and publicize a mobile policy: “It needs to cover at a minimum which devices are supported, who pays for the device and associated data packages, use of the device, data security, how and what applications can be loaded, what support is available (e.g. only sync, email, browser but no other apps).”
Make device management as self-service-oriented as possible: “What is the process that someone has to follow to get their device validated and connected? How much of this can be made self service reducing your support load, with links to FAQ, policy and good 3rd party support websites.?
Work closely with business users: Map out device policies and procedures “with all the stakeholders before you start building websites or applications. Hey – maybe this is a chance to show how responsive you are and a chance to try out some cloud based approach. “
Beef up your technical capabilities: “What skills do you need? The first step (Policy) and the second (Process) will determine skills required and what is available.”
Estimate the demand on your infrastructure: With a slew of new wife enabled devices connected, what will this do to your network” Does this change the policies or approach you advocate user follow?”
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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