The real force behind BYOD

You can blame the iPhone, Salesforce.com, and Facebook, but the truth is that business itself has driven the shift to employee-directed tech

By , InfoWorld |  IT Management, BYOD, consumerization of IT

Forrester Research says that the consumerization trend will only intensify as the Millennials become a greater proportion of the workforce. In 2010, a quarter of employees were Millennials, a proportion that rises to 40% in 2020. Think about it: The Boomers who grew up in the individual-empowerment era of the 1960s and 1970s are largely the ones who have the political clout and financial ability to use their own technologies, but the generations that follow see such technology as simply normal.

I've heard several CIOs at large, conservative enterprises say they had to allow iOS and Android devices because "kids" wouldn't work for a firm that forced them to use a BlackBerry and Windows XP PC. The U.S. Army is a great example; it's proactively looking to deploy Android devices and iPads, and it's training troops on appropriate use of iPhones and other such devices because its 20-something workforce uses them anyhow.

One more study, this time from Aberdeen Research: I covered it in detail earlier this year in my blog because it's such a shocker. The more you try to control employee-oriented technology, the more it costs you and the less safe you are. Remember that analogy of trying to fence in teenagers? That's why: When you rigidly control the technology and processes of knowledge workers, they actively work around you -- and against you. Your "secured" email ends up getting forwarded to Gmail and Hotmail accounts where you have zero control or visibility into it. Documents find their ways onto CD-Rs, thumb drives, and cloud storage for transfer to home computers and from there to mobile devices. Cloud apps will be used more and more, as IT becomes viewed as the obstacle to getting work done.

The real shocker to me was the fact that a free-for-all environment is safer and cheaper than a rigidly controlled one. But it made sense after Aberdeen researcher Andrew Borg explained it: If employees aren't actively fighting IT, they're less likely to cause issues. And of course the safest, cheapest approach is the "wise parent" approach: Use a mix of policies, incentives, and education to help your teen become a self-sufficient adult. The incentive is the right to use a device of their own choosing; the policies channel that use in safe ways, and education helps both reduce resistance to some burdensome but truly necessary policies and increase self-vigilance by the employee -- the overwhelmingly vast majority of whom want to do the right thing for them and their company, after all.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question