How to use BYOD to drive change through your organisation

The resounding message from the Logicalis BYOD Business Briefing series, held recently in Melbourne, Brisbane and culminating in Sydney on May 10, was that the phenomenon known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is not simply another challenge for the IT department to overcome; it’s a challenge that spans many functions in the organization from Finance to Legal, IT to HR and requires buy-in from the very top if it is to work. Not only that, but the benefits that accrue to organisations that do embrace BYOD are significant and real, both in terms of productivity and cost.

The four panelists shared their experiences of actual BYOD deployments.

Ian Ross, Strategic Solutions Director at Logicalis, kicked off proceedings, providing an overview of the modern IT landscape. He talked about the consumerisation of IT and the impact this trend has had on the workplace.

Ian stressed that the challenge for organisations is to meet the needs of users in a cost-effective way and without jeopardising security. “We’re seeing the rise of a generation of informed, opinionated and assertive device users,” he said. “Users want access to everything from everywhere and will circumvent procedures to get what they want. Generation Y are now choosing employers based on the level of flexibility in the work environment”.

Stuart Driver, Director WW Regional IT Operations at Citrix Systems, took to the floor to talk about Citrix’s pioneering BYOC program.  Stuart said that in the era of IT consumerisation, organisations have two choices: “you can bury your head in the sand or you can be proactive and do something about it”. Citrix chose the latter.

Stuart recommended a 5-step process for creating a BYO program:

  1. Survey your employees
  2. Consider contributing to purchase costs
  3. Update corporate policies
  4. Ensure physical and data security measures are in place
  5. Make sure the rules of the program are understood by everyone.

Stuart stressed the importance of building a business case for technology and getting all departments, especially HR, involved early in the process.

Ross Miller, former CIO at GPT, talked about his experience overseeing the development of an activity-based workplace at GPT. Ross outlined how GPT managed to cut down from five floors of prime Sydney commercial real estate comprising 380-390 desks to three floors of 280 desks. He stressed that this was far from hot-desking, explaining that the project was driven by the need for cultural change, with the goal being to create a more collaborative, productive and flexible work environment. The main takeaway from Ross’ talk was that “Organisational change must occur throughout the process and throughout the business.” The unwavering support of his CEO was critical in pushing through the inevitable obstacles they encountered along the way.

Finally, Dudley Kneller, Partner at Madgwicks Lawyers, talked about the legal implications of BYOD. Dudley reiterated that BYOD is a project that all critical parts of a business must be involved in. He discussed some of the legal challenges presented by BYOD, including issues surrounding liability, ownership, privacy, licensing and regulatory compliance. Dudley’s main message was “organisations must a strike a balance between managing corporate risk and meeting the needs of users”.

The audience then had the opportunity to put questions to the panel:

Should BYOD be voluntary or compulsory?

Stuart Driver:“50% of Citrix staff are ineligible for our BYOC program because their technological needs are either too great or too little for it to be cost-effective. There is no one size fits all”

Ian Ross: “At Logicalis we have tools to conduct scans which determine which users are most suitable for BYOD”

Did Citrix’s BYOC program include costs of peripherals?

Stuart: “We have probably absorbed some extra departmental costs as a result, but that’s always been the case in business”.

What is your opinion on MDM solutions for smartphones?

Stuart: “We don’t care about the end device. We know we can control the delivery of the applications s to the device. We protect the yolk of the egg – the data.”

In a sentence what are your key takeaways?

Stuart: “Build a business case for technology and get HR and legal involved early.”

Dudley: “Get Legal and other peripheral departments on board from the beginning”

Ross: “It’s important to fully understand employee requirements, don’t skimp on this step.”

By sharing their experiences of projects on which they had worked the four speakers made a good case for the benefits that accrue to organisations who embrace BYOD. Significant productivity and cost gains are available if the project is seen as a cross-departmental organisational change project.

If you’d like to learn more about the issues discussed in the briefing, please download our complimentary BYOD whitepaper.
You can also download the slides from the BYOD Briefing on Slideshare.

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