You know I gave up a long time ago trying to NOT talk about BYOD. It feels like it’s everywhere because it’s top of mind on almost every discussion I participate in these days. It may even reach the point that people will start talking about BYOD when they’re not even talking about enterprise mobility. Thus if you think about the expression “If you can’t beat them, join them” then I have taken that adage to heart. That said, you also know that I try to provide you some perspectives on BYOD that show you that it’s not always a Bed of Roses.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon an article that was regurgitating the merits of BYOD. Candidly, it was such a poor article, I’m not going to even waste my time linking to it. One of the things that the author of the article was touting as a benefit to BYOD was that an organization could set up a policy where no support would be provided to the employees who opted in for BYOD. Makes perfect sense right? Reduce support costs. You’ve already reduced the CapEx costs because you’re no longer buying employees hardware. Now, you don’t even have to pay for the OpEx of support staff.
This is fantastic!! No CapEx and almost no OpEx!! Come to think of it, maybe Al Gore did invent Enterprise Mobility…
Time to get back to the real world and follow this logic through. The crux of this theory is that there will almost never be any problems with mobile devices. Ya, right. What’s more, as opposed to having expert staff there to help you, employees will now be able to look at public web sites or internal community portals to see if other people have experienced similar issues and see if there’s a known means to address the problem. This idea is about as smart to me as the logic behind reimbursing employees for the devices they pay full retail for. (For the record, I think that’s a VERY bad idea)
Let me ask you a question. What are the people in the non IT departments supposed to be doing for your company? Oh that’s right! Help the company make more money!!! Doesn’t it make sense that they should be spending all their professional time working to help the company make more money as opposed to troubleshooting device, application or network configurations??? Why should non-IT staff spend any time doing things that are not going to help the employer make more money?
Now I understand that some of the more tech savvy people out there may very much be the help desk for their families (I am), but where is it written in their job description? Oh that’s right….it’s not.
If mobile devices and applications are supposed to increase workforce productivity, then I will argue that you should let them focus on their jobs and not look for bogus “cost savings.” Heck, even if there are real short term cost savings from not having to have additional help desk staff, I maintain that that is a highly short-sighted strategy that would be quickly outweighed by the potential revenue opportunity loss.