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The Effect Of BYOD On The IT Department Of The Future

There’s obviously much discussion these days regarding the impact of BYOD in the workplace. Sure, we have seen recently some of the potential negative impacts of deploying a less than optimized BYOD plan, but the general consensus (not supported by yours truly) is that BYOD is the way to go.  A recent comment from an EMF member even pointed out the cost savings to an IT department that can come from no longer having to provide support to the people who choose to bring their own devices into the workplace (again, you might know how I feel about that).

But then today, I found this fascinating article on Ziff Davis called “Shifting IT delivery to tablets: The strategic issues.”  I read the article and actually thought the title could have applied to any mobile device in the BYOD construct.

The crux of the article (at least for me) came in the section called “Reformulating IT delivery in an uncertain tablet world.”  It was a real eye-opener, actually…but not for the reasons delineated in the article.

Much of the conversation around mobility says that mobility will completely change the way organizations go about their business.  This, I do not at all disagree with.  However, I can’t help but feel that this paradigm shift is more about the front lines than “behind the scenes.”  Sure, employees are going to be able to do things and be more productive than they have ever been before thanks to the great new technologies (toys) that are available today….but the thing I simply can’t get away from is that we have seen this movie before…meaning, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sales, marketing, operations people will all gain massive advantages from mobility.  But to think that there will be massive advantages for the IT department from mobility – and particularly BYOD – is an aspiration in my opinion.

Why?

There will always be support costs no matter what IT departments are trying to do today (particularly in terms of creating self-support models).  I will argue that mobility is actually far more complex than “traditional” IT because of the fact that it’s not about the consumerization of IT, but the IT-ization (I’m still trying to figure out who coined that term) of the consumer (meaning that employees are far more IT savvy than they have ever been).

So back to the article.  The last section’s title: “Enabling tablets isn’t enough: IT must be rethought”

100% agreed…however, I still believe that the rethinking will end up being evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary.  IT and (one of) its fundamental mandates of support will never go away.  It will not decrease, it will no increase because we will all get more tech savvy…and as such, the more things change…the more they will stay the same.

2 Comments

  1. Posted June 4, 2012 at 17:41 | Permalink

    Hey Philippe, I thought I’d share a link to a post on MaaS360′s blog that took this idea a different direction (titled “How Bring Your Own Device Will Change IT’s Job”). Please read and share your thoughts!

    http://bit.ly/ITsJobBYOD

    Cheers,

    John

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    • Posted June 5, 2012 at 09:59 | Permalink

      Loved the DMV reference. I still maintain that the legal system will always lag behind the dynamics of mobility and as such, there will come a point in time where the company will be so fed up with the state of affairs that BYOD will be reduced.

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