A better approach to BYOD Recent trends regarding an employee’s ability to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work have the promise of increased productivity and employee morale. When you factor in hints of decreased organizational spend with the employee buying and supporting the device themselves, the paradigm becomes quite compelling to say the least. In reality, companies face genuine challenges regarding information security and application interoperability brought about by BYOD. There is no-doubt a cost savings associated with the removal of such devices from an organization’s bottom line. However, in doing so, how does one avoid simply replacing that savings with support costs brought about by these non-standard platforms? More importantly, how do you measure the so-called increase in productivity in such a way that a company can justify going “all in” on such a progressive strategy? Consider the following example:
John, a project manager ACME oil international, spends most of his time in remote locations where the usage of mobile devices is a necessity. Because of the company’s acceptance of BYOD, John is allowed to use his iPad at these locations. Throughout the workday, John uses the iPad to update progress reports and various project artifacts. Unfortunately, at his last assignment, John accidentally dropped his iPad into a recently drilled well, rendering it and all of its contents useless.
I’ll be honest that as a business owner, it’s hard for me to remove the human element as a driving factor behind BYOD. It’s not that different from the conversation I had with my 14 year-old daughter a couple years ago regarding her need to have a phone. In fact, I’m already preparing for a similar discussion on her need to have her own car. Anyway… Though Android may be your corporate standard, as an Apple devotee I want to use my iPhone because it’s more convenient for me and I simply like it better. Even if, in this scenario, the usage of the iPhone allowed certain employees to achieve greater productivity, how do you create a meaningful set of metrics to quantify your ROI? In most circumstances, I’m not sure it’s a topic that lends itself to empirical data. In my estimation, the concept of BYOD is too difficult to justify using productivity gains alone because of the difficulty in assessing the value to the business. However, what would happen if one removed this problematic human element from the equation? Interestingly enough, a quite familiar pattern emerges to us enterprise architects. At its core, BYOD embraces the usage of heterogeneous devices in the workplace. I would offer the theory that BYOD is to devices as Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) is to systems. Service-orientation tells us to embrace the notion of heterogeneous environments. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing an application in .NET or in PHP, or creating a database using SQL Server or Postgres. It’s all about embracing our architectural differences and providing ways for them to integrate in-spite of those differences. By grounding the concepts of BYOD inside the Service-Oriented Architecture pattern, we remove any doubt of business ROI by establishing the concept inside a proven methodology for technological agility. BYOS, or Bring Your Own System, is the ultimate embodiment of service-orientation merging application, data, and device-driven domains under an all-encompassing shroud of heterogeneity. With BYOS we focus on the integration of on-premise and cloud-based systems. As a result, we automatically enable multi-device support along with the policies governed by BYOD. If you remember back to John and his iPad, if ACME had instituted a BYOS strategy instead of limiting themselves to BYOD, the outcome may have been completely different.
Unfortunately, at his last assignment, John accidentally dropped his iPad into a recently drilled well, rendering it and all of its contents useless. However, under ACME’s BYOS strategy, John was required to upload his documentation to a secured cloud-based storage solution of his choice. By John giving ACME corporate access to this account, it was possible to synchronize those documents back to the company’s on-premise ECM platform for safe keeping. As a result, the loss of John’s iPad had no effect on the company.
Now for the really good news! Recognizing the potential benefits BYOS could bring on a grand scale, Tricension has created its first ever product called Harminize. Harminize eliminates any obstacles associated with isolated systems by enabling organizations to copy, move, and sync data between on-premise and cloud-based environments. Sharing data between ERP, ECM, and CRM systems, Cloud Storage, and Social Media platforms provides professionals a cost-effective way to effortlessly collaborate, keep systems up to date, and maintain files in a secure environment. Find out more by visiting our web site at http://www.harminize.com.