There's Hope in the Pandora's Box of BYOD

There's Hope in the Pandora's Box of BYOD

Mike Wolf, Director-Technology, Digital/Mobile Solutions, KPMG US
Mike Wolf, Director-Technology, Digital/Mobile Solutions, KPMG US

Mike Wolf, Director-Technology, Digital/Mobile Solutions, KPMG US

Since its introduction in roughly 2009, the concept of BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) has transformed how business is run, opening the floodgates to mobile being the preferred platform for the way business is done today.

In a recent report by Tech Pro Research, nearly 74 percent of organizations have either adopted a BYOD policy or will adopt in the near future. From iPad Pro to Surface Pro to iOS 9 and Android L, to cloud services like ServiceNow and Workday, the cloud-first, mobile-first world is powered by the BYOD enterprise. However, the real story of this explosion is not BYOD itself and reduced cost, but instead the increased employee satisfaction from people bringing their personally owned devices to work, which has opened a kind of a Pandora's Box of the “consumerization” of IT.

BYOD policies opened it … and now, just like the lesson in Greek mythology, it’s impossible to close the lid on the consequences of this phenomenon.

While we as an industry have enabled this future using mobile device management tools and a progressive movement toward the cloud, what we really have done is expose the enterprise to heightened consumer experiences and expectations. It's no longer enough to simply enable our users to do business same old way. Users now expect inter-connectivity and a consumer-quality user experience.

The device in their hands not only connects them to the enterprise, it ties users to their day-to-day consumer life. Their work and personal lives are mixed together on the device in such a way as to become indistinguishable. Without acknowledging and adjusting to this shift, the IT organization is leaving the business behind the market and leaving it at risk. This mobile, device and cloud shift is one of constant evolution and refinement in a cycle that will not change.

  Design thinking is not just a way to engage employees; it's the path to transforming into a responsible digitally enabled business   

As Gartner points out in its latest CIO survey, digital transformation tops the CIO’s agenda. Increasingly, due to the success of BYOD and mobile, we are working in a world where there is not digital business but business in a digital world. Leading CIOs are looking to move from operational efforts like BYOD and MDM, to strategic efforts aimed at being the engine that moves the business forward. To do this, CIOs should be considering transforming their organizations to being hyper-consumer-focused and aligned ones, and finding ways to put the technology, people and process in place to move at the speed and quality expected by the consumer.

Becoming a Consumer-aligned Organization

Mobile and the cloud have dramatically shifted the enterprise user’s expectations. Leading organizations are adjusting to this new reality, even embracing it down to the way their organization is assessed. They’re using marketing metrics such as Net Promoter Scores to assess the quality of service to their employees and using Design-thinking methodologies and tools such as journey-mapping to help solve problems in human-centric design.

This shift to a Design-Thinking approach is crucial to solving problems, because it puts the focus on people’s needs and motivations (“motivational design”) that integrate tightly with the right enterprise systems. These organizations are borrowing approaches from lean start-ups and product companies as a way to look at their employees as “customers of their services” and not “users of their systems.” When they combine this method with a focus on quality user experience from pixel to code, they have an approach that not only delights but pushes the business forward in a responsible way.

One of the tangential side effects of a consumer-oriented organization is that it becomes secure by design. Users are making the choice on a daily basis to either break security methods to use solutions that are not approved, or accept a lack of quality and productivity. Forrester Research found that 22 percent of data breaches in 2013 happened due to employees ignoring data governance and policies. Users do not want to expose the business, but by enabling them with tools that don't meet their needs on devices they own, a vacuum is created which is filled by third-party apps. By adopting a human-centric design approach coupled with the business need, security is considered and designed for real human needs.

A similar pattern can be observed in the decline of music piracy as streaming services such as Spotify and, before that, iTunes came to market. Users want simplicity and a great experience; they are not looking to break policy. However, just like the music industry learned, if you do not supply people what they need someone else’s technology will. Design thinking is not just a way to engage employees; it's the path to transforming into a responsible digitally enabled business.

Transforming to Meet a Digital World

Becoming consumer-aligned is crucial, but if it's done in a way that will not scale, expectations will be lost. Employees see the speed at which Facebook evolves, and they expect the enterprise icon next to it to evolve at the same rate. Organizations must consider how to evolve their tools, methods, teams and culture to make this happen. Leading organizations do this by shifting to continuous delivery and bringing in Dev Ops philosophies, building cross-disciplinary teams working in agile and design methods to meet customer demands, while at the same time integrating enterprise security and industry governance all the way down to the audit. Those leading in this space have progressively shifted to cloud models, not only around added agility in production but also in the tools and methods of the craft.

Organizations on the digital transformation journey are beginning by utilizing outside partners to bring them enablement and scale, but need to include a path to shift this function in-house as mobile and digital become crucial to the business. In a recent Gartner CIO survey, 49 percent of respondents said they feel lack of talent is their greatest hindrance to digital transformation.

Organizations need to view creating digital teams and systems just like a product or program, which must include organic growth and mentorship as well as inorganic talent acquisition. Many organizations have recently acquired design and development firms, as their business shifted from one with a digital strategy to one which is strategy in a digital world.

There have never been more potential opportunities to transform the way people do their daily work. BYOD and Cloud have been the wake-up call for enterprise employee enablement. The business is clamoring for great experiences that push the business forward and makes employees love their jobs from day one. The key is to listen, watch and evolve to embrace Pandora’s Box, which we opened.

And let’s not forget that of all the evils Pandora unleashed on the world, Hope was still in the box, and did not escape.


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