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BYOD: An opportunity for IT evolution

Tech-savvy children of the ‘90s are now in the workforce, and they’ve brought their mobile devices. Embrace them and help bring about an IT evolution.

Most IT departments are missing one of the main points of BYOD. The main reason to embrace BYOD is because it allows for IT evolution.

The bring your own device (BYOD) movement presents IT with an opportunity to reinvent itself, which doesn’t happen often. BYOD offers IT pros a chance to find new ways to help the business, and it puts users, IT and management on the same team. Though admins may think it’s impossible for IT to learn anything from users, in today’s IT landscape, they can.

In the 1990s, the Internet boom and all the threats that IT faced justified a more rigid and protected infrastructure. Users did not know as much about their devices back then, either.

In the same way IT tried to evolve in reaction to these threats, users evolved too. The kids who were 8 or 10 in the ‘90s are now in their twenties, and they’re working in your organization. These Millennials who grew up with the Internet are more technologically savvy than yesterday’s users -- yes, I know it sounds odd, but trust me on that -- and they have a myriad of cheap devices readily available to them. Users today also know way more about the services and tools they can use to get work done more efficiently, and that’s why services such as Dropbox and Google Docs are wreaking havoc on the IT world.

In response to these consumer services, there needs to be another IT evolution. But if admins think that implementing BYOD under their old, rigid ways will put them back in control, they’re wrong. Putting security locks and mechanisms on users’ devices isn’t going to help admins get a handle on BYOD. It will cause users to find even more ways around IT.

More BYOD resources

How to create a BYOD policy

BYOD FAQ: Answers to IT’s burning questions about BYOD

How to make a BYOD program work

This reinvention should be about aligning the tools that IT departments provide to users with what users actually want (as long as those tools make sense from a business standpoint). A successful BYOD initiative can help IT and users work together, instead of against each other.

If your job today in the IT department consists of putting out fires, rebuilding stuff that broke and solving users’ problems, then you’re not doing IT work. Working in IT should be about matching business needs to the best tools so you can keep the company ahead of the pack. Embrace this opportunity BYOD is offering to you. It is your chance to go from IT to smart IT and revolutionize the way you and your company work. Chances like that do not come often.

Cláudio Rodrigues is a consultant and CEO of WTSLabs Inc. based in Ottawa, Canada. He has been deploying server-based computing solutions since the Citrix WinView days and was the first person to ever receive the Microsoft MVP award for Terminal Services. He was the CEO of Terminal-Services.NET, the company that developed tools such as WTSGateway Pro and WTSPortal. Rodrigues is also a frequent BriForum presenter and has helped clients around the world implement server based computing technologies

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