At the end of day one of the CITE (Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise) show in San Francisco, I dined at The Thirsty Bear with one of my favorite industry experts. To make a point, he took my cell phone and after four attempts was able to unlock it. Could it be my password was way too simple or was this guy so in tune with personalities and their potential passwords preferences that he was able to read me like a book and figure it out? This Mobility Engineer was in fact THAT in tuned with cell phone users (but yeah, I have to admit, my password was too simple). This leads me to lesson one.
Lesson 1: Make my password less predictable. Done. May I suggest for the sake of security that we all take a moment to assess our passwords?
Lesson 2: Flamenco dancers aren’t messing around and neither should you in the management of your company’s BYOD programs.
We continued our conversations about BYOD in the enterprise over some tapas at The Thirsty Bear, when a group of lovely and talented Flamenco dancers came to entertain us. Faces projecting nothing but passion and determination, these dancers knew how to entertain. They’re serious, they’re focused, and if they were managing your BYOD, they would get the job done. BYOD does not manage itself and in the long run requires program management just like corporate liable programs, but in a different way. When you’re looking for a solution to manage BYOD, look for a company that is serious and focused about a BYOD solution.
Lesson 3 (a and b):
Brian Katz of Sanofi, a major pharmaceutical company, had a few nuggets of gold as he presented throughout the conference.
a. Companies must tie business strategy to mobile strategy BEFORE taking the BYOD plunge.
b. Apps should be about the needs of the user which he noted to remember: “F.U.N.” – Focus on User Need, above all.
Tom Soderstrom, from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said take the time to explain WHY you’re setting a new policy and practice in place. It’s a simple gesture that helps staff to adopt new protocols.
Eric Cowperthwaite, of Providence Health & Services, said that new technology, after new technology results in new rule, after new rule. Consider setting healthy parameters around your new technologies, but not to the point where they disable productivity. Just as when you tell children, “Only use this”, your users will many times begin using something they’re not supposed to, to help them with their productivity. Eric recommended considering less rules, more freedom for staff to use what they need to get the job done and provide support and healthy boundaries around that need.
Kevin Jones of NASA’s Marshall and Goddard Space Flight Centers, likened how we should treat our mobility programs to how NASCAR gets rid of anything they possibly can (inside their cars) to move as fast as physically possible. Simplicity is the key. Kevin also mentioned that, “The key to failure is not allowing trust.” Give your employees what they need and then trust them to do the right thing. If they don’t do the right thing, they shouldn’t be working for you. Kevin made a great point when he said NASA had performed studies on various age groups and found that it doesn’t matter the age – adopting a new policy or device is more about if the device and service meets a need more than the actual age of an employee.
A common train of thought I observed at the show: “BYOD is cost neutral.” So far, data has not pointed to BYOD reducing cost. Going into a BYOD mobility initiative with the sole purpose of saving money is setting you up for letdown. Instead, focus on how to better enable your employees with the right tools.
I want to thank all of the industry experts out there who made this show a complete success. Looking forward to next year!