There's a sentiment that often comes up when discussing BYOD, the changing workplace, and the consumerization trend as a whole. It's the idea that consumer-oriented cloud services and mobile apps are delivering a much better user experience than an IT staff, business software, and enterprise developers can provide. That's led companies like Enterproid and Apperian to focus on the end-user experience as well as the IT and management experience of their mobile management products. Both companies see the end user experience as a powerful competitive advantage.
The White House BYOD toolkit is a great resource for federal agencies and businesses alike
The White House unveiled a toolkit for federal agencies planning to implement or consider bring your own device (BYOD) programs. The move is part of a larger digital strategy push by the Obama administration to modernize technology and increase the use of mobile technologies throughout the federal government.
The toolkit's release follows the call by federal CIO Steven VanRoekel to create a Digital Services Advisory Group that will help agencies share resources and speed up the adoption of mobile technologies. One of that group's mandates is to work with the Federal CIO Council on drafting guidance for agencies on the subject of BYOD. The toolkit is result of that process, which also included input from the government's BYOD Working Group.
- A list of key subjects and issues that agencies need to consider and address before proceeding with a BYOD strategy.
- A collection of case studies from agencies that have already implemented BYOD options.
- A collection of sample policies covering BYOD programs, mobility initiatives, and use of agency technologies.
Although the toolkit is designed for government agencies, it's actually a very good resource for any company or organization that's considering or planning a BYOD program.
In particular, the list of key considerations is extremely well thought out and can easily serve as a checklist of questions for IT professionals, CIOs, and other executives to answer. For instance, it suggests organizations take the following steps:
- Identify the different approaches to BYOD access to organizatoinal resources: virtualization, "walled garden" access, and limited separation.
- Think through different worker roles and their BYOD needs.
- Figure out how to educate users and establish policies such as data plans for workers.
- Evaluate a wide range of security considerations, from securing data from malware-compromised devices all the way through building a secure architecture that also enables interoperability with other government agencies.
- Look at privacy and ethics questions.
- Answer a wide variety of questions related to device and app management, such as identifying supported devices and approaches to data storage (cloud vs. on-device)
There's a lot more, too. Simply using this as a starting point ensures that important technology and policy issues are identified and discussed.
The case studies, on the other hand, are more focused on how government agencies will tackle BYOD implementations. The three case studies include the experiences of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) with virtual desktops (VDI), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) BYOD pilot project, and the experience that the state of Delaware had in implementing its BYOD program. Although there is still excellent information and great detail in the case studies, they aren't as universal as the list of key considerations.
The sample policies are even government-specific than the case studies. Some are even product-specific both in terms of mobile devices and mobile management solutions. That isn't surprising considering this toolkit is designed for government agencies, which have unique policy needs that differ somewhat from private sector companies.
Bring your own device is so 2012. The next big push in the consumerization of IT is bring your own cloud. And just as when consumer devices poured into the enterprise, many IT organizations have already responded with a list of do's and don'ts.
Skyhigh monitors what cloud services employees are using and said that most businesses are surprised at what it finds.
A study by Cisco Systems' Internet Business Solutions Group concludes that the value companies currently derive from BYOD is "dwarfed by the gains that would be possible if they were to implement BYOD more strategically."