You know, it’s interesting. So much talk these days around enterprise mobility and BYOD is all about preventing your employee base from doing “bad things.” OK, it’s not really said that way. The more diplomatic terminology is Information/Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Regardless of whether you are an optimist or a cynic, it really does boil down to one fundamental premise: how organizations are trying to lock things down (whether it’s the device or the apps or the content).
This couldn’t have been more true during a TweetChat I participated in yesterday. (I know, you’re probably thinking that that’s all I do with my time these days, but I assure you that’s not the case). One of the topics that took up a considerable of time during the one hour session was about preventing employees from doing “fill in the blank” with their mobile devices.
I’ve said this before, but I can’t help but feel as if I need to bring it up again. The whole BYOD debate is not just akin, but in fact nothing more than a new label on the corporate liability vs. individual liability debate that existed before BYOD became the hot topic. For those of you who might not recall, I even started saying that we should focus less on the liability part of the equation (us vs. them) and instead think about mutual mobile responsibility. If you’re hiring good people, then why should we be so focused on preventing them from doing things with their mobile devices?
This last point made me think of a line one of my former mentors used to say. “Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t do.” While he would use that phrase when talking about roadblocks in overly political organizations riddled with fiefdoms, I can’t help but feel that his quote is highly relevant to the majority of discussions that we are collectively having around enterprise mobility.
Focus on what we can do with mobility and not on what we can’t do (i.e., prevent). Amen.
This is why I have also recently been preaching the idea that we should focus less on mobility management and instead focus our energies on mobility enablement. Without minimizing the importance of device/application/data security and DLP, I strongly believe we should spend at least as much energy thinking about how mobility and mobile applications are going to change the way we do business.
Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t do.