Mastering the BYOD Balancing Act: The Softchoice Journey

Balancing Act

It’s funny how things evolve so quickly. Just a few years ago, the thought of employees using their own phones or laptops for work at work was unthinkable.

But as the consumerization of IT trend grows from a trickle to a flood, many organizations have no choice but consider how to implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. And the experience at Softchoice was no different.

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Feeling The Pressure Of Big Data?

Feeling the pressure?

Over the years, data centers became fragmented, with numerous types of proprietary software living in silos inside specialized hardware components – making them complex and frustrating to manage. Today, virtualization helps absorb and minimize this challenge, but creates another: Server and application sprawl from explosive data growth.

Server and application sprawl will cost you

A sprawl of uncontrolled and poorly managed application deployments leads to ‘application unavailability’ that endangers an organization’s profitability. Numerous examples of this continue to sprout up all around us. For example, do you remember the Amazon datacenter failure? I always like to remember an article I read that states:

“As business becomes increasingly dependent on technology and information, availability is a universal concern for every business, in every industry…And  globalization means there are no more periods of  ‘acceptable’ downtime. At any time of the day or night, somewhere in the world, customers and vendors need access to your corporate information. If they can’t get it, they’ll go elsewhere – creating an opportunity for your  competition.”

David M. Fishman, Sun MicroSystems, Application Availability: An Approach to Measurement

I was young, and I have to admit that it touched me and created a sense of urgency. Maybe this is why I am so passionate about what I do today. Considering the problem of server and application sprawl, automation and ease of management are no longer a ‘nice to have’ they are a MUST. With this in mind, where do you start?

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BYOD Behind the Scenes: 3 Things to consider before embarking on your own journey

In my previous Behind the Scenes post, I explored how we developed and rolled out our own Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

With such heavy activity in the media coupled by relentless pressure from users, by now you’re probably seriously thinking about following our lead and taking the plunge into mobile consumerization-station.

Hold it right there! We’ve been where you have, and we confidently say there are three often overlooked considerations to be aware of before embarking on your own mobile BYOD journey.

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BYOD Behind the Scenes: How Softchoice implemented a bring-your-own-device policy

Just Google BYOD (as of July 16, that 6,340,000 results and counting) and BAM! it’s clear the bring-your-own-device revolution is far more than just a trend. If you’re CIO hasn’t started quivering yet – whether it be from excitement or fear – take a look at some more staggering numbers:

  • 95% of organizations allow employee-owned devices in some way in the workplace
  • 76% of IT leaders consider consumerization to be “somewhat” or “extremely” positive for their companies
  • 66% of employee want IT to let them use any device they choose, while 55% of generation Y employees see it as a ‘right’ versus a ‘privilege’
  • But, less than 10% of organizations are ‘fully aware’ of the devices accessing their network

The facts are clear: BYOD is here to stay, but organizations still aren’t clear about how to manage it. They need a successful workplace mobile use policy. But where to start?

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Behind the Scenes: Building a great BYOC Team

This is the second in a series about how Softchoice implemented BYOC. We hope you find the series interesting and look forward to your comments and thoughts on your experiences.

Building the team: You start with inviting a great marketing person to the team.

OK, most BYOC teams don’t have someone like me blogging about the process, and providing my “2 cents” based on things that I’ve read from marketing materials. But, having a marketing person does have its benefits, since there’s a lot of employee communications that require good writing skills. Plus, I have access to marketing survey tools, which is handy for our employee survey.

So other than me, who else is on the Softchoice BYOC team?

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Behind the Scenes: Softchoice moves from BYOD towards BYOC

This is the third entry in a series about how Softchoice implemented BYOC. We hope you find the series interesting and look forward to your comments and thoughts on your experiences.

As Madeleine’s blog series on Softchoice’s journey from Blackberry to BYOD is starting to wrap up, I’ve now started on a new journey considering whether Softchoice should expand BYOD to an employee Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) program too. Now it’s rare to ask a “marketer” like myself to join an IT project team, but I got asked because I had recently published some blogs and campaigns about these issues, so I had a good amount of researched knowledge on the topic.

However going from reading some white papers and watching some videos on the subject, to actually trying to figure out how to make it work in a real organization is quite a big jump.

I’m realizing that marketing tools such as the vendor study that I attached to my last email campaign, or the Client Computing Revolution infographic I just worked on are great at illustrating the trend and talking about considerations and challenges at a high-level, but they don’t really provide that much help once you actually start down the road of planning a BYOC strategy. Yes, we all understand the “why” to go to BYOC, but what’s lacking out there is a real account of the “how.”

So this blog series is going to detail step-by-step how we went from our CIO saying “we should look at BYOC at Softchoice”  to working  through a BYOC project using Six Sigma Practices. I’ll share the tools we found most useful, the surveys and policies we created and then outline how we built the business case and implemented the neccessary technology. [Read more…]