After attending an itSMF event in which we were discussing BYOD, I was a bit annoyed to hear how some companies are forcing policies in which they meter application usage on personal devices. In my opinion, that goes against the idea of BYOD, and here’s the result of that opinion…
First, let me start out by saying thank you for embracing and exploring the concept of bring your own device (BYOD). It’s comforting to know that as a corporation in today’s 21st century, you’re finally realizing that I, as an individual who embraces new technology, have the natural curiosity and intellectual hunger to find new ways to work quicker and more efficiently; ways in which most organizations do not have the ability to keep pace. With the ever changing landscape that we now call IT, it’s apparent that a single human can comprehend and embrace new technologies faster than that of an entire culture. Because of this truth, BYOD isn’t about the borg-like “assimilation” into the colony, but rather, the uniqueness and contributions of the individual that helps to make the entire organization successful as a whole.
There is one matter I’d like to touch upon during this manifesto, and it’s the concept of device vs. data. Yes, I agree that using my own personal device to access your data can cause concern. After all, you have no idea where my device has been, and even though I’m technologically savvy enough to make sure security has not been compromised, I understand that a blind-faith in device trust is simply not going to happen. But I would like to remind you that the device is mine, and all personal content and data on that device is mine as well. BYOD has now created a conundrum for us; one in which I want to retain ownership of my property, as well as the privacy rights that one enjoys with owning personal devices, and you want to control every aspect of your data, including any phsyical hardware that’s being used to access it. While this type of problem isn’t a new one in general, the specific ways in which you want control is specific to your culture.
I would like to offer my point of view to a solution, one that I think is fair to the spirit of BYOD. Please accept that BYOD means you now do not have any control of managing my device. It’s now gone, finished…kaput. In fact, I recommend that you not only accept it, but embrace it, because managing multiple devices is a cost that simply cannot be held to a reasonable level while allowing the type of flexibility that BYOD allows. So if your idea of BYOD means forcing me to accept policies regarding application usage monitoring, please accept my sincerest laugh as I happily decline on that particular service offering. Also, please don’t be offended if I decide to seek employment elsewhere, as such practices would actually make me feel a bit uncomfortable to be your employee.
In exchange for getting rid of device management and leaving my personal privacy alone, I will accept your terms for managing something far more important; your data. I’m not without reason, despite what other people may say, so I’m willing to accept terms that dictates the actions you need to take in order to protect your information. After all, BYOD really involves the concept of data management on multiple devices and platforms, not the managment of those devices. So yes, I understand if you need to wipe my entire device when our relationship ends (hopefully on a good note), or if you feel that my device has had it’s security compromised. I even understand the need that my device needs to meet certain requirements, such as hard-drive encryption or using a passcode lock; common practices that I, as a privacy paranoid individual, should be following anyway. I do hope you’ve considered these scenarios and have come up with a solution, or solutions, that will minimize the security requirements for my device, but sometimes a little compromise can go a long way.
Now that you and I agree that BYOD is about data management, I think we can move forward on to a brighter future. One in which I can switch from iPhone, to Android, to Blackberry (yeah, right), to Windows Phone, and back to the iPhone 7S, and have you never need to worry about the cost or headache of supporting the device…just as long as you worry about your data and I’ll worry about mine. Ultimately, it’ll work out for the best anyway, because I don’t think you care about my current run on Trivia Party, just as much as I don’t care about your emails once I move on to the big ITSM independent consulting dream job in the sky.
ITIL and Me.