Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Jackie Kahle

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Wireless, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, SDN Journal

SOA & WOA: 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.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, will discuss the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data and analysis are providing the pull to meet customer expectations of a widely connected, multi-dimensional universe of people, things, and information.
It’s time to face reality: "Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus," and in today’s increasingly connected world, understanding “inter-planetary” alignments and deviations is mission-critical for cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, will discuss cultural expectations of privacy based on new research across these elements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Esri has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Esri inspires and enables people to positively impact the future through a deeper, geographic understanding of the changing world around them. For more information, visit http://www.esri.com.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
After a couple of false starts, cloud-based desktop solutions are picking up steam, driven by trends such as BYOD and pervasive high-speed connectivity. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, cuts through the hype and the acronyms, and discusses the emergence of full-featured cloud workspaces that do for the desktop what cloud infrastructure did for the server. He’ll discuss VDI vs DaaS, implementation strategies and evaluation criteria.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Cloud Computing is evolving into a Big Three of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Cloud 360: Multi-Cloud Bootcamp, being held Nov 4–5, 2014, in conjunction with 15th Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA, delivers a real-world demonstration of how to deploy and configure a scalable and available web application on all three platforms. The Cloud 360 Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, an analyst with Gigaom Research, is the first bootcamp that introduces the core concepts of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based on the workings of the Big Three platforms – Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, and Azure VMs. Bootcamp attendees will get to see the big picture and also receive the knowledge needed to make the best cloud decisions for their business applications and entire enterprise IT organization.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at 15th Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy of LogMeIn's Xively IoT Platform, will show you how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
“Distrix fits into the overall cloud and IoT model around software-defined networking. There’s a broad category around software-defined networking that’s focused on data center, and we focus on the WAN,” explained Jay Friedman, President of Distrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
“The Internet of Things is a wave that has arrived and it’s growing really fast. The concern at Aria Systems is making sure that people understand the ramifications of their attempts to monetize whatever it is they build on the Internet of Things," explained C Brendan O’Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect at Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
The Internet of Things is a natural complement to the cloud and related technologies such as Big Data, analytics, and mobility. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Joe Weinman will lay out four generic strategies – digital disciplines – to exploit emerging digital technologies for strategic advantage. Joe Weinman has held executive leadership positions at Bell Labs, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, and Telx, in areas such as corporate strategy, business development, product management, operations, and R&D.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DevOps.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's “DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo,” which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. DevOps.com is where the world meets DevOps. It is the largest collection of original content relating to DevOps on the web today Featuring up-to-the-minute news, feature stories, blogs, bylined articles and more, DevOps.com is where the thought leaders of the DevOps movement make their ideas known.
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that allow marketers to cut through the noise and design their campaigns around strong, predictive signals, rather than arbitrary statistics. SendGrid sends up to half a billion emails a day for customers such as Pinterest and GitHub. All this email adds up to more text than produced in the entire twitterverse. We track events like clicks, opens and deliveries to help improve deliverability for our customers – adding up to over 50 billion useful events every month. While SendGrid data covers only abo...