Say you’re an enterprise IT agency; users are crying out for the latest kinds of mobile devices, your existing three-year refresh cycle is leaving users feeling constantly two years behind, turnover and departmental transfer of wireless service contracts are costing you, morale is impacted as consumerization transforms corporate culture everywhere. Gut reaction – Invest in new technologies that allow your user base to be device- and OS- agnostic, and switch to shorter service contracts, one or two years. Great for the economy, good for morale, bad for business… However, this is where large enterprises are going when their individual corporate cultures evolve to that point. It’s not lazy. A ton of money is spent in research, proof of concepts, pilots, program management, and deployment. That doesn’t sound lazy to me; I’m tired just thinking about it. It’s not faster, it’s not cheaper…
The first reason is easily guessed: Ownership. I am the enterprise and this is my phone and employees borrow my phone as they do the desktop PC on their desk. You break it you buy it, but while it works it’s mine. (Say what you want about Citizens United vs. FEC, I submit corporations are at least 2-year-olds, if not whole persons.) Government Funded Equipment (GFE) and such arguments aside, I find this the most valid objection to BYOD, albeit of little weight.
Second reason: Security. The ivory tower speaks, all shall listen! The larger the organization, the taller the tower. That is, the more incumbent the security organization, the more the default reaction to new technology is, “No.” As a cyber-security nerd I have a love/hate relationship with this reaction. On the one hand, oh how I’ve enjoyed telling users “no” throughout my career… On the other, the inner user in me whines like a petulant child and the technology nerd in me drools over the next thing.
The third: Liability. In stating that, remember this conversation is very much still in progress and many fall on either side this. Worth of a post in itself (coming soon), see this CIO.com article on the topic. Enterprise policies and device trust profiles mitigate, but parts of the debate continue. A topic many of us are following closely, one I’m eager to follow up on soon. Stay tuned!
The tendency to solve A before thinking about B and even looking at C. Linear thought and the 21st century’s redefinition of Innovation. “It’s not innovation unless you can show me the money!” –Ingenisist.com Emoted by too many large organizations these days. Let’s put it this way, imagine if Henry Ford did a market analysis on horse-drawn-carriages, bought and rebranded an existing horse breed, put the Ford logo on it, created a few PowerPoints, and announced he invented something new. 21st century corporate Innovation!
So let’s do something different, non-linear. Skip B, because as it turns out C solves A&B securely, with lower TCO, and proven enhancement to productivity and morale. Let’s all, as enterprise IT organizations, stop this self-destructive tech refresh cycle.
Citrix enablement of mobile workstyles (tag XenMobile, XenApp, Receiver, Sharefile, XenDesktop, NetScaler). To date, the only single-vendor BYOD solution that completely covers security, mobility, and adding value and performance of virtualized environments, applications, and secure mobile data transfer and storage. This however, is not a sales pitch; instead, food for thought when approaching discussions about tech refresh with your IT agency. When IT execs lean towards tech refresh and possibly enabling a BYOD program, respond with a better way to achieve all the inherent goals of tech refresh and avoid the linear money pit.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Bring the Citrix mobile workstyle story to your IT Org and start the discussion there (a Citrix rep is a good resource here, we have a lot of great info). And as always, feel free to drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) or connect with me on Twitter (@Citrix_Jazz) to share your thoughts.
Lead SE, U.S. Navy & Marine Corps
Citrix Public Sector, DoD Team