Come on, use your BYOD imagination!

Nick Booth bemoans the lack of imagination that currently seems to be sweeping the industry and calls for a change in the way technology is showcased

A report by Insight recently suggested that CIOs and IT managers have very mixed feelings about the bring your own device (BYOD).

Apparently, a hefty proportion of them think the BYOD revolution will create chaos and there are all kinds of hidden costs about to be spring on them. Morale may be high among end users, who have finally got their own way and can play with their iPads at work, but this could be a temporary phenomenon. There are nameless fears about different operating systems and clashing models multiplying like Japanese knotweed.

Some are even yearning for the old days ODF desktop PCs and are considering going back to that model. They'll need luck if they do that because, as the survey shows, many companies have reported an improvement in morale among staff.

Hang on, surely, if it's project managed managed right, BYOD will surely save companies money and, more importantly, time – their most precious resource. Getting users to train themselves will surely save a fortune, I think these CIOs and IT managers aren't making a very good case for their BYOD strategy.

Mind you, they wouldn't be the first people in the IT industry to make squander their inheritance. At a recent Digital Winter, HP was showcasing a new printer, the Photosmart 7520. The beauty of this device is anyone can send pictures to it, by Wifi or Bluetooth. So did they set it up so people could try it out? Of course not. Why let people enjoy seeing it in action, when you can get someone on the stand to describe it.

Few companies seem to show much imagination when demonstrating their technology. That could be a real pain at a show like IP Expo this week, which hasn't exactly got the snappiest title going. OK, it's a techie B2B trade show, but they could at least try to whet the appetite a bit.

Some of the technology on show is quite exciting. React is showing a very futuristic camera called Mobotix, which analyses the action as it films it. With software tools running on the camera's can analyse  statistical data and creates a structured report. A sports club in Essex uses it to track people entering and leaving to help with staffing levels, safety compliance and marketing activities. That may be Orwellian nightmare futuristic technology, but at least its interesting.

Meanwhile, Evault is launching something but they don't have enough confidence to explain what it is before hand. That's selling the idea to the public.

At least Kemp makes an effort with its splendid new range of yellow load balancing boxes. But load balancing isn't the most spectacular technology in the world. What they need is some sort of clever visual metaphor – perhaps involving pipes and blockages – to make the subject come alive. Maybe they will.

Signify's two factor authentication is another tough one to glamourise. Maybe they could make a game out of their stand – one that exemplifies two factor authentication, to make it more fun. I know IT buyers are sombre, but even CIOs have a sense of fun. Maybe they could have two dancers tangoing around the stand. Two factors coming together to give you more fun. Or something.

Making games to illustrate business principles is all the rage now. Everyone's talking about it, but nobody actually does it, possibly because it was too difficult and expensive. That could change now that Hauppage has launched a device that allows you to record games footage and edit it. What better way is there to illustrate security than creating a shoot 'em up video, including footage of invaders being repelled. Surely it's not beyond the imagination (or budget) of a security firm to make some simple promo films like this.

Imagine the fun you could have illustrating Bit9's presentation on “The Future of Cyberattacks: What You Should Know About Flame, RSA, and Other Advanced Persistent Threats”. What drama you could create showing cyber attackers battling with IT security defenders. Pop along to Bit9's seminar on ‘Using Application Control Against Emerging Cyber Threats’ to see if Mandeep Sandhu has taken my advice.

Meanwhile Rapid7 is showing off its security risk intelligence and penetration testing products, Nexpose and Metasploit. I can't imagine how one would create a visual metaphor for penetration testing. You can't make a game out of everything I suppose.

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