Employees should drive IT policy

The employee of today has changed — they have become more technology savvy and have technology integrated into their lives. Their world is about connecting, collaboration and innovation, and this year will see the fastest rise of mobile internet.

Steward van Graan, General Manager of Southern Africa and Managing Director of South Africa for Dell (image: Charlie Fripp)

This is according to Steward van Graan, General Manager of Southern Africa and Dell MD. He made the statement during a presentation at the IDC’s (International Data Group) annual Africa CIO Summit in Cape Town, and explained what needs to be done by CIOs to successfully manage the consumerisation of IT.

“There are a lot of changes in IT and it’s moving from limited connectivity to Always On. It’s moving from email and Instant Messenger to freedom to participate. Whether you like it or not, consumerisation of IT is coming. There are a couple of questions that CIOs need to ask themselves before implementing any strategy,” he said.

Van Graan said maintaining security and protecting data is important as they loosen IT standards and how they support employee devices.

“Some technology simply won’t pass the grade. So CIOs have to be very careful about what they implement and what employees bring to work,” he added.

Van Graan gave advice on Consumerisation’s Best Practises to follow. “CIOs can articulate their workplace and tech philosophies and use that to set consumerisation strategies. They also need to recognise that IT security and data protection policies restricting the use of personal devices and social media apps may increase security and data theft”.

He urged companies and IT decision-makers to pilot media tablets with field workers and executives. “Tablets will increase tremendously in the coming future. There should be about 208-million tablets in use by 2015. CIOs are free to choose what they need, but always proceed with caution in terms of operating system and security”.

Although it sounds like consumerisation of IT could be a minefield, he said IT decision makers should test devices to assess what works best for their organisations. “The end user will shape what you do, so listen to them. Even consider desktop virtual and other new tech to reduce security and data loss”.

Van Graan ended by alluding to the shifting workforce. “The new generation of workers are putting pressure on CIOs, adding to the demand and increasing IT complexity”.

“The answer to you doing something different lies in your hands,” he concluded.

Charlie Fripp – Online editor


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