I often hear from CIOs that the many challenges of optimizing their BYOx strategy keeps them up at night. As it should, because for most CIOs, BYOx means unlocking mobile worker productivity, the key to growing any business.
I think the CEO of Coca-Cola Germany said it best:
“The most dangerous place to make a decision is in the office,” says Ulrik Nehammer, chief executive of Coca-Cola Germany, who says he now handles most business via his mobile as it allows him to make decisions where customers, suppliers and employees are at exactly the moment that it matters.
Distilling all of the lessons learned by the CIOs I work with, the key to successful BYOx is looking at the problem in 3 steps and asking the right questions in each step. (Spoiler alert: IMO #3 is the one that is most important.)
It may be very tempting to jump right to specific solutions, but until you are firm on this foundational data, you will miss crucial needs.
1. Keep a relentlessly current picture of all the user application needs.
Users need access to core business apps & data and any good IT department keeps abreast of this.
However, many don't drill down into the fourth question and miss the key opportunity for improvement.
The questions at this step are:
- What apps do they need?
- Where do they access these apps?
- Can they get access today?
- How do they get access today?
2. Take your device strategy lead from hockey - be where the puck is going.
Traditionally, IT issues users company devices; and PCs are still the most commonly managed device. But, the trend is clearly towards more employee-owned devices, especially Macs and smartphones. Most BYOx strategies get bogged down in this step.
At this step, the questions you ask are:
- What device(s) does the employee want to use? (looking forward 6 months at least)
- Do you want IT to spend time and effort managing that device?
- If yes, how and why will grow the bottom line? (I've got an opinion here)
3. Understand the impact of the user's access experience on your bottom line
In my opinion, this is the most important and often overlooked step. As you can personally attest, complex user experiences negatively impact productivity. Users need access to be quick and easy. Poor user experiences, such as complex sign-on processes and lengthy login times, slows users and decreases their productivity.
So the most important questions you need to ask are:
- Does the current access experience help them make the right decision to drive business growth?
- Is there a better way for your employees to be able to take informed action that will enhance their productivity?
Armed with these sets of data, you are now solidly equipped to evaluate your options to evolve and improve your organization's information agility. The choices are vast and complex, but the right solution can lead to ease and simplicity... as well as bottom line results.