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BYOD Is No Bed of Roses

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.

4 Comments

  1. Posted April 27, 2012 at 10:12 | Permalink

    Hi Philippe

    Although I didn’t comment on your fantastic articles since long time, busy and being in a quiet mode right now :-) , I couldn’t leave this one go without comment. The so called BYOD, as it is being described in many articles nowadays, doesn’t make any sense to CIOs nor to business users. You’re unfortunate like me to have to stumbled upon such articles nearly everyday, which shows the level of practical experience in enterprise mobility and understanding of the real world of CIOs and CEOs. It is NOT easy for CIOs or CEOs to open the doors to all the gangs and hackers around the globe digging into their confidential or even not confidential business information and functionality.

    How much increase in information security breaches through mobile devices did we’ve last year? More than 60% increase! I personally believe it should be more than 400% increase if you would consider the number of mobile devices and users added to the market last year alone. How much would 5 minutes of a business user time cost the company? The role of those devices in the enterprise is not only to browse internet and make calls, it is to do serious business tasks on time and on site through enterprise-grade mobile apps.

    My advice to those bloggers is; go talk to CIOs and implement just one BYOD project as you described in their articles or product marketing flyer and then let us talk after that. Until then, please reduce the confusion in the world around what is called BYOD as you’re understand.

    What about a new IT mDevice/mOS strategy: “We Support Most Devices- WSMD”?
    All what you need is just a well-thought strategy around Mobile Life Cycle Management and the right IT tools to implement this strategy.

    Great Weekend,
    Ahmed

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    • Posted April 30, 2012 at 07:48 | Permalink

      Ahmed,

      Firstly, welcome back to the discussions…we’ve missed your insights! With regards to your commentary, I think we’re still in the adolescent stages of mobility. I would argue that in the not too distant future, we will look back at BYOD and say “what were we thinking?”

      Cheers,

      Philippe

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  2. Posted April 30, 2012 at 04:31 | Permalink

    Agree…BYOD reducing CAPEX – OPEX is just a misinterpreted projection. The moment a second employee device type enters the enterprise there is a whole list of enablement that has to happen within the enterprise. The moment a second service from enterprise gets to device the dynamics again changes. As and when services like mails, media, messengers, workflows etc gets to the employee owned device the Opex/Capex all shoots up. Cost of BYOD seems to be understood in terms of the “Cost of the BYOD software” in industry and waive off infra cost to an extent by “cloud enabling”. BYOD is never “B-ypass Y-our O-verhead Of D-evice-ownership” but “B-est Y-ield O-n any D-evice by enabling, equipping and ensuring the correct ecosystems are in place to run business”…

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