Electronic Arts embraces BYOD, consumerization of IT and cloud

By Thor Olavsrud, CIO |  Consumerization of IT, BYOD, Electronic Arts

Tonnesen: We have a BYOD policy. We don't have a BYOMDif you want to call it that, mobile devicebut that is coming. Today, we essentially support the iPhone and iOS, and we're moving to Android and we're allowing that to just become a ubiquitous choice by our employees. But the first step was really to get the BYODthe computer, the tablet and that device to be much more ubiquitous.

CIO.com: Are people bringing their own laptops, or is it primarily tablets and phones?

Tonnesen: Yes. They're bringing both. They're bringing their own computersthe vast majority are Macs, iBooks or some variation of MacBook Pro or what have you. On the tablet side it's primarily the iPad, but we are seeing some Samsung product being brought in as well. It's interesting: We thought this was going to drive up cost, but it's actually turned out to be much cheaper. We're seeing more employees decide to bring their own computers, their own devices and so it's saving on a lot of capital for us as well. So the more we can mobilize our applications and infrastructure across the board, inherently I think that's going to drive down costs and create more freedom in the enterprise.

CIO.com: Have you run into any serious challenges as you as you embrace this BYOD culture? Have there been any roadblocks you've had to deal with?

Tonnesen: I think some of the roadblocks have been largely legacy decisions on some of the technologies that we've chosen in the past. I'll give you an example: We use an old OCS platform for calendaring and conferencing, and it doesn't work on a Mac platform, an iOS platform, so we're having to do some upgrades there. We have some old web applications that were written for IE and weren't written for Safari or Mozilla, Firefox, what have you. So we have to do a few retrofits of some things, but quite frankly, they were probably long overdue, and the demand from our employees was strong.

I wouldn't say that we've run into any real blowback from anybody, either at the executive level or in finance or legal, and certainly not with our employees. Most of our employees are actually saying, "It's about time. Let's go. Speed it up."

CIO.com: I know that as part of this digital transformation, one of the first steps was to move IT out of the finance group and into technology operation. Why was that an important first step?

Tonnesen: We, for a number of years, reported into the finance organization, and, of course, as you can imagine, two things happen when working for finance: One is that finance, of course, becomes the number 1 priority and every other organization becomes second priority or beyond; number 2 is that the number one objective that you have as an organization is cost and managing cost.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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