Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Nicole Bryan, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Greg Schulz

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Mobile IoT, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Microservices Expo: Article

Developing BYOD Strategies: Follow the Workers

Dell survey highlights importance of putting users before devices when developing BYOD strategies

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has rapidly morphed from a disruptive worry into a strategic, positive initiative for many organizations across the globe, according to results from a new global survey released today.

In fact, significant business benefits often follow when BYOD-adopter companies empower their employees with their preferred devices and work habits, as well as more say in the applications and  data access they need to get their jobs done … anytime, from anywhere, the survey shows.

What's more, the rapidly improved productivity and enhanced collaboration among employees -- as well as greater communication and better service with customers, suppliers and partners -- are proving to be competitive advantages for companies that do BYOD best.

The survey was recently conducted by Dell Software Group and market researcher Vanson Bourne from nearly 1,500 IT executives around the world. It clearly demonstrates that, while BYOD shows promise, many organizations are struggling with making the most of BYOD. [Disclosure: Quest Software, part of Dell's Software Group, is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

The majority of survey respondents agree that BYOD strategies deliver benefits -- more than 70 percent said they believe that BYOD can boost employee productivity and customer response time, and 59 percent say they feel their company could be at a competitive disadvantage if they didn't implement BYOD.

It's important that organizations define a program to help manage and protect their corporate information, but also to empower employees to do their jobs better and faster.

And attitudes toward the innovation impact that BYOD has are largely the same among the midsized (between 1,000 and 3,000 employees) and large (more than 3,000 employees) companies surveyed. Roughly half of respondents in both groups say that BYOD has significantly changed the business culture at their organizations.
Yet less than half of the IT leadership respondents -- 44 percent -- say they understand the importance of a user-centric approach to BYOD. And this is where many organizations are missing the boat, according to Dell Software.

"It's important that organizations define a program to help manage and protect their corporate information, but also to empower employees to do their jobs better and faster, or to improve customer satisfaction, or whatever the goal is," says Roger Bjork, Director of Enterprise Mobility Solutions at Dell Software Group. "Companies that do BYOD for a purpose, to help with a broader goal, are seeing better results versus those who simply let BYOD happen. A big part of that is focusing on the user aspect, and not limiting it to a device discussion."

To me these results should remove doubt that embracing desktop virtualization (VDI) and mobile device management are priorities for IT. I also think that BYOD is a catalyst to more general IT transformation and more business-centric emphasis for IT innovation. You could say that BYOD forms a capstone on the rising archway of VDI, web apps, thin clients, terminal services, and other applications delivery advancements overt the past 15 years.
The idea, of course, going back to the very first PCs, is to let the user decide how to work best.

Benefits of putting users first

Indeed, those survey respondents who say they believe the user-centric approach to BYOD is the right one also reported they are able to drive business benefits, satisfy users and gain a competitive edge to a higher degree than survey respondents who don't see the benefit of a user-centric approach. Some 64 percent of respondents say BYOD works well when the specific user needs are understood by IT.

And respondents at companies further along in their BYOD strategy implementations are more likely to agree that the most benefit is derived from programs that put the user first. Understanding individual user needs and the resulting improvements in employee productivity and satisfaction are much more important pillars of a BYOD strategy than simply allowing employees to use the device in their pocket or purse for work, says Bjork.

The survey data definitely shows companies that have well thought-out BYOD strategies have fewer issues and are garnering better results.

"You do a disservice if you make this about what shiny object do employees want to use to connect to email. It's much broader than that," he says. "I think the survey data definitely shows companies that have well thought-out BYOD strategies have fewer issues and are garnering better results."

A one-size fits all approach to BYOD does not work, says Bjork,  IT should manage the spread of BYOD. "You can't just let BYOD happen," he added.

A user-centric approach to BYOD fits with the recent trend for IT to transform into a service-delivery organization that understands not only the goals of the business, but how to support employees to help them achieve these goals, adds Bjork. What's more, as the Millennial Generation enters the workforce with certain digital expectations, user-centric BYOD policies can be leveraged as recruiting tools.
"Let's face it, this is not just a mobile thing. It has a much broader impact," says Bjork. "BYOD is a method, not a result. … You should start by asking 'What is the user trying to accomplish?'"

The bottom line is that IT now needs to support multiple ways of working for a variety of styles and devices that appeal and adjust based on user preferences and innovations.

Additional points

Other noteworthy points that arose from the survey:

  • Survey participants in the U.S. are least likely to stress users over devices when crafting a BYOD strategy, while respondents in Singapore were most likely to do so. Other geographies covered by the survey include the U.K, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, India and the Beijing region of China;
  • Respondents listed more flexible working hours, the ability to foster creativity, speed innovation, boost morale and facilitate teamwork and collaboration as personal gains for employees working with BYOD strategies;
  • Organizations that consider applications as part of a their BYOD strategy are more likely to link and manage devices per user; clearly define roles for their user community in one central database; track and support each user's level of mobility, and deliver applications to users based on their role within the company. Of those with no formal BYOD policy, 27 percent say they can't provide any of these functions;
  • The top five BYOD challenges listed by survey respondents are abuse of policies; theft/loss of mobile devices; lack of control over applications and data on devices; employees leaving the company with insider knowledge; and unauthorized data distribution.

Dell's position on the importance of a user-centric BYOD strategy comes from experience. Carol Fawcett was the CIO of Quest Software, which was recently acquired by Dell, with nearly 4,000 employees in 23 countries. The company focused on giving employees access to the applications and data they needed to get their jobs done, regardless of what device was being used.

The results of this latest BYOD survey reinforce the importance of putting users first in order to develop the most effective policies and turn BYOD into a long-term, sustainable business benefit.

"We found this approach helped us quickly move out of device firefighting mode to be much more strategic, which also enabled us to resolve our biggest BYOD problems, such as security, access

rights and data leakage," says Fawcett. "The results of this latest BYOD survey reinforce the importance of putting users first in order to develop the most effective policies and turn BYOD into a long-term, sustainable business benefit."

As Quest found with its own workers, the better planned the BYOD acceptance, the fewer negative issues and the better the productivity result. I recently spoke with Fawcett at length about the experience.

I think we should also expect that BYOD planning will be done in association with -- and as an accelerant to -- other larger initiatives such as data center consolidation, IT transformation, and applications modernization.

Bjork further suggested that companies that have a policy-based approach to security and access control, and adopt services oriented architectures and data lifecycle management will be in a better position to avail themselves of BYOD faster and at lower risk. VDI and thin-client initiatives also pave the way to BYOD.

(BriefingsDirect contributor Cara Garretson provided editorial assistance and research on this post. She can be reached on LinkedIn.)

You may also be interested in:

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

@CloudExpo Stories
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
You are moving to the Cloud. The question is not if, it’s when. Now that your competitors are in the cloud and lapping you, your “when” better hurry up and get here. But saying and doing are two different things. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Robert Reeves, CTO of Datical, explained how DevOps can be your onramp to the cloud. By adopting simple, platform independent DevOps strategies, you can accelerate your move to the cloud. Spoiler Alert: He also makes sure you don’t...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
The initial debate is over: Any enterprise with a serious commitment to IT is migrating to the cloud. But things are not so simple. There is a complex mix of on-premises, colocated, and public-cloud deployments. In this power panel at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Commvault; Dave Landa, Chief Operating Officer at kintone; William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interou...
SaaS companies can greatly expand revenue potential by pushing beyond their own borders. The challenge is how to do this without degrading service quality. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director at Anexia, discussed how IaaS providers with a global presence and both virtual and dedicated infrastructure can help companies expand their service footprint with low “go-to-market” costs.
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Digital Initiatives create new ways of conducting business, which drive the need for increasingly advanced security and regulatory compliance challenges with exponentially more damaging consequences. In the BMC and Forbes Insights Survey in 2016, 97% of executives said they expect a rise in data breach attempts in the next 12 months. Sixty percent said operations and security teams have only a general understanding of each other’s requirements, resulting in a “SecOps gap” leaving organizations u...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, discussed how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He also discussed how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...