IT's 6-step guide to adopting consumerization

Most businesses are accepting, even embracing, consumer technology. What do they know that you don't?

By Bob Violino, InfoWorld |  Consumerization of IT

This was an operational nightmare, says Neil Goodrich, director of business analytics and technology at Holly Hunt. Instead, the company decided to shift to a BYOD model for the sales rollout, eliminating the concern about IT needing to keep devices current. Users took that responsibility, aided by iOS's application alert system.

Holly Hunt also deployed MDM software, so it can blacklist certain applications where appropriate. It can also remotely wipe data and deny network access to devices that do not adhere to corporate policies.

This strategy gave the company what it wanted with its mobile strategy: Users can self-update their personal devices and get the full utility from the one device for both their personal and work need, and Holly Hunt can protect itself against risks such as lost or stolen devices.

In addition, MDM software allows for multiple profiles, so the company can have one profile for employee-owned devices and other profiles for corporate-owned devices, which it uses in its warehouse and fabrication facilities. Other organizations implement such multiple profiles to vary permissions and privileges based on users' roles.

Consumerization step 4: Tap into your employee base for app ideasFor application development and deployment and the kinds of apps employees are allowed to use, many organizations are trying to catch up with the consumer marketplace, says X by 2 consultant Petersmark.

Most new employees enter an organization with a more capable set of productivity and networking tools, not just devices, than supplied by their new employer, Petersmark says. It's problematic at best and catastrophic at worst from a talent recruiting and retention perspective "if the best and the brightest decide that their new employer's infrastructure and application portfolio is far inferior to what they already have in their pockets," he says.

Forward-thinking companies are trying to embrace those in their organization who tend to push the boundaries on the consumerization front. Rather than considering those people to be troublemakers, Petersmark advocates that you bring them into the planning and deployment process and ask them why they use the devices, services, and apps that they do, how they use them, what benefits they derive, and so on.

Consider creating a small team of the more cutting-edge employees and ask them to help re-create some of the core application functions the company uses in the form of more consumer-friendly technologies, Petersmark says.

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