There is more to IT than BYOD

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There is more to IT than BYOD

Cliff Saran

CIOs should stop worrying about BYOD according to analyst Gartner. Instead they should focus on technology transformation.

The analyst company is urging CIOs to focus on technology-led business transformational change, instead of pandering to user demands for supporting the gadgets they bring to work.

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In its CIO Resolution 2013 research note, the analyst company warned; “With so much at stake, why are many IT departments obsessing about issues like bring your own device (BYOD)? After all, if you had a magic wand that solved all those end-user device issues completely, it probably wouldn't shift your company's annual financial result.”

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Gartner analyst Mark Raskino described BYOD as doubled-edged. He said: “BYOD is driven by consumer-grade marketing. You [in IT] have precious resources.”

The amount of energy being poured into BYOD means there is little focus on transformational IT like the big CRM, ERP, supply chain management projects of the 90s and early 2000s,

He warned: “If you don’t have a big systematic change strategy for what technology will do for your business, then the agenda will be filled by superficial stuff like IT consumerisation.”

Raskino described BYOD as a headache for IT, rather like Windows security. “It’s a hygiene factor.”

He believes modern CIOs are too narrowly focussed. “Because you haven’t had a deep structural model for digitisation of your industry, [superficial] level things happen instead. BYOD is analogous to the [superficial] websites you had in the 1990s.”

He said CIOs need to have a serious conversation of how their industries work. “All these smartphones have location information. If CIOs in the 80s had access to geographical information they would have done a lot more with it. How companies use location to optimise their operations is a different conversation to BYOD.”

Raskino believes IT has not helped business move forward. “Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, the IT department has been much more leaned back, than in the previous decade.”

If CIOs in the 80s had access to geographical information they would have done a lot more with it

Mark Raskino, Gartner distinguished analyst

Only in the last few years have businesses started to see the benefit of the large transformational IT projects that came about through running projects like ERP, that provide a single view of the whole business. IT must step forward to deliver the next transformational technology-led business change, Raskino advised. But he said, “Many IT departments concentrate on being quite perfect internal service providers. They are not setting the agenda.”

He said CIOs would be attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (January 8-11 2013) to appreciate what is happening in the internet of things world, and the future of consumer products. He added: “If you are a car company  or a consumer packaged goods company – how will your business change? Even a non-electronics company can be influenced by the likes of Apple and Samsung.” He urged CIOS to consider the question: “How will distribution in my industry change by the internet of things?”


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