According to Citrix South Africa country manager, Sean Wainer, it is time to leave behind the hackneyed discussion about the apparent threats to organisational control and security represented by the proliferation of devices and the growing trend among employees towards bringing their own devices to work.
“For one thing, there is simply no way to opt out of the tsunami of devices, the fact that tablets, smartphones, ultrabooks, and, now, smartphone-tablet hybrids, colloquially known as phablets, are making technology sexier than it has ever been, and the rapid shift towards remote and mobile working.
“If organisations ignore the growing trend of consumerisation, there is a risk of losing talent to other organisations that have embraced new, more flexible ways of working. It is likely that organisational agility will be constrained because employees will be forced to use outdated, locked down modes of working. Enthusiasm and commitment levels may suffer as a result.
“I believe that bring your own device (BOYD) programmes convert directly into employee loyalty, high employee productivity, and high company performance.
“And, BYOD reduces both hardware and software costs, with some companies paying a stipend to employees for the acquisition of their own cutting edge technology choices rather than paying the full price for the relevant devices and apps. So, it is possible to run a much leaner IT organisation whilst increasing agility and intellectual capital.
“BYOD is a significant strategic asset. Not grabbing it with both hands is ignoring a significant opportunity.”
Exploiting BYOD as an asset is easier now than it was even a year ago as a consequence of the ability to now deliver data, enterprise and mobile applications, and desktops from a cloud to any computing device, providing users with a consistent experience of applications across whichever of device they are working with at the time.
It enables IT departments within organisations to deliver a service to users without having the concern of supporting the user devices and adding complexity and layers of management to the organisation’s external service delivery infrastructure. Secure, centrally hosted desktops and applications enables single image management, optimal control, and compliance for any organisation.
“Technology developers understand the ramifications for users and their employers of new technologies, even those they didn’t invent themselves,” Wainer says. “So, the changes that new technologies force on IT organisations are inevitably solved in relatively short order by the developer community – and, in the process, cut IT costs and complexity, boost organisational performance, and confer the potential for competitive edge. The age of monolithic suites of software has passed and the move to cloud-based microcentric applications is upon us.
“What IT organisations fear, though, is that the kind of software that makes BYOD a strategic asset will reduce the need for an IT organisation – or, at least, most of its people. What is forgotten in that fear is that each new technology brings with it fresh opportunities for IT to improve the way their organisation operates. There’s always something new to do in IT. The number of IT jobs worldwide just keeps growing. And programmes like BYOD enable IT employees to become more strategic and less reactive or tactical, making IT an even more attractive career choice.
“An IT organisation that understands this makes its employer attractive to IT talent which is, in itself, a competitive edge.
“In other words, BYOD marks a sea change in organisational optimism, from both a business and an IT perspective. You can, indeed, have the best of many worlds if you stop thinking about the problems and look around to see which technology vendor has already solved the problems.”