Organisations resisting the consumerisation of IT trend are in the minority. According to the Citrix Global Bring-Your-Own (BYO) Index released last year, 94 percent of organisations polled reported that they expect to have a BYO policy in place by the middle of next year.
With the rapid proliferation and evolution of smart devices, employees increasingly expect to be able to use their own devices for both work and play. Indeed, this is no bad thing considering the demands of today's fast-paced global environment. Giving employees the ability to work anywhere, anytime, by any type of device could well help achieve the best results.
The findings from the BYO Index also showed that there are a growing number of 'consumer' devices in the workplace with 92 percent of organisations aware that employees use personally-owned devices for work purposes, clearly demonstrating that the consumerisation of IT is an unstoppable phenomenon, and one that should be embraced. As organisations move to consumer-based technologies such as tablets and smartphones and cloud services, here are six practices that can help create the right environment to make both IT and employees happy.
1. Create a culture that welcomes consumer IT
The first thing that organisations need to do is to adjust its cultural orientation and attitudes from one of zero tolerance for consumer technologies at work to one of business opportunity. Instead of automatically frowning on employees bringing their own devices to work, organisations should think about how best to leverage this new technology and the processes that come with it for better customer service, improved profitability, or increased productivity. An organisation's ingrained culture is probably one of the biggest inhibitors to effectively and sensibly leverage the opportunities presented by the consumerisation of IT. Part of the cultural change is getting IT out of the mindset that only technology people can make technology choices, and bear in mind that the end goal should be to provide employees with tools that will increase their productivity, regardless whether these tools are considered business IT or consumer IT.
2. Focus on policy-based governance
Organisations should develop policies, such as adopting a BYO programme, to govern how consumer technologies can be used in the workplace, and deploy an asset management strategy for company-owned objects such as PCs and mobile devices. Managers and employees alike should agree and commit to all BYO rules to ensure that the programme satisfies the company's policies, while supporting employees' growing demands for virtual lifestyles and device flexibility. To encourage employees to self-provision their own device, companies can consider offering a stipend, which can be used to purchase a device of their choice.
3. Implement desktop virtualisation
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.