Friday, June 8, 2012

Customer Feedback Fridays: BYOC, BYOD, and the Cost for IT

Have you heard about BYOC? How about BYOD? I like to use my own Apple products, but that's just me. *Feel free to dance as you repeat the first three sentences to yourself. I just did*

Bring Your Own Computer or Bring Your Own Device  is a popular revolution that is being adopted by large organizations. The consumerisation of IT is gaining momentum as consumers mix work with play. Pretty exciting movement. Essentially, it's the ability for employees to use their own personal or preferred devices for work. I'm  a Lenovo and Dell fan by day (work sponsored computer and monitor) and an avid Apple fan on nights and weekends. But sometimes, I like to mix it up. If I telecommute on a Friday, it's nice to take advantage of some of the features on my MacBook Air to complete work related tasks.

Next to security issues, a key component of BYOD is encouraging users to self-support. Many large organizations supporting "Bring Your Own" will pay for all or part of the device, provide the virtual apps/desktop, but are asking users/employees to solve their own support issues. On a high level, if I had an issue retrieving email while working at home, even on my own device, the first option for me would be to contact my company's IT department. But what if it was a simple issue (like troubleshooting my router) that could be handled via self-serve options? What if the IT department could provide employees with a list of approved self-service tools that could be used by non-technical employees as well as the tech savvy?

A few questions to ask yourself when asking employees to support their own device:
1) Am I taking into consideration the different types of users? A problem with a device can lead to lost presentations/documents/work and decrease in productivity. When you ask an employee to self-serve, be sure to give him/her the tools that will help them to be productive. A lost presentation can equate to an unproductive meeting, delays in completing projects, lost time trying to recover the file, as well as a decrease in employee morale.
2) Can the self-serve solution be accessed on any device? Make sure the self-help options can be accessed on a tablet, mobile phone, PC, laptop and on any browser. When you give employees the freedom to select their own device, the self serve options should be equally flexible.
3) Is the self-serve option limited in content? As employees/consumers demand the ability to connect multiple devices to the 'connected home experience' they will expect similar support. Make sure the self serve solution can access related repositories of knowledge. Like the example above, issues retrieving email could be related to the PC, the Router, the Network, or the Internet Service Provider (ISP) - Asking the employee to sift through multiple websites will decrease productivity and increase frustration.

Today, in honor of the BYOD movement, I will provide you with a quote from an analyst covering Devices for a well-known and highly regarded research firm. Happy Friday!

"Bring your own computer is a growing trend in SMB and Enterprise.  BYOC employees will be responsible for the maintenance of their PCs, and will need their PC questions resolved quickly.  {The movement} could result in a small increase in warranty sales in 2012 and 2013.  A hot topic is how will my organization support BYOD. PC manufacturers will increasingly need to support questions from consumers about how to use their PCs for work. {Example} Questions will range from enterprise apps, to extending battery life, to using the VPN and authentication."