By now, we are all familiar with BYO. Whether you are an advocate or not, the consumerization is undeniable. For many of the reasons that we have been discussion in the recent BYO series of postings, one thing seems to be certain- a business cannot simply add consumer devices into a traditional client environment without adding infrastructure to support the devices.
But first the disclaimer. The contents and opinions expressed on this blog are mine and do not represent those of my employer.
Many businesses have tried BYO only to find that for a wide range of rationales there needed to be an accommodation or at least more budget to execute the strategy. IT has had the challenge of not seeming to inhibit the direction, but enabling the road to consumerization.
Now that realities are setting in to some degree, we are seeing a trend that I will call (remember you heard it here first) "managed consumerization".
The business practice is fundamentally no different than when we in IT are asked to embrace a new standard. We define what the make, model, configuration, security and lifecycle requirements are and for a fully loaded cost, add the device to the standards list.
At the practice levels depending upon which model you subscribe to, the cost of support for client computing ranges from $500 to $600. Estimating that BYO can be delivered for less, an argument for another blog posting, adding an SKU for a consumer device with required support, and all of the required governance, can be done. This could be the funding source for the infrastructure to be built.
Scaling will be critical to the conversation.
The BYO approach assumes in its core that no support, cost, risk and so on is required, but again to support the reality what many businesses are now realizing that the required funding for BYO needs to come from those end users requiring the solution. Just as smart phones before it, BYO can be just another IT service if properly approached as a tender, not an entitlement.
The issue that businesses have seemingly not addressed is that having one's own personal device is not an entitlement, but simply another requirement for It to fulfill.
What are your thoughts on this approach that I am now seeing? Are you seeing the same dynamic?
As we discussed before, IT is not the decision maker, but the execution arm. Costs are real, and the role of IT is to identify the risks, practice gaps, and costs so that the strategy can be assessed by executives (including the board), legal, HR, governance and compliance officers.
For some reason, BYO has taken a right turn away from all of the controls that are in place, and IT as a part of the delivery arm, needs to assure that the solution can be effectively delivered.
Having a managed consumerization model may be the initial step to regaining the line of sight required to secure the enterprise. If we wait, chances are that a breach will bring us all together.
Caveat emptor is not an IT and corporate strategy.