The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement has been generating excitement for a long time now, and 2014 may have been the tipping point when the trend went from widely hyped IT movement to a mainstream issue. A recent CIO magazine report explained that mainstream awareness of BYOD turned 2014 into a nightmarish year for CIOs. At the outset of 2014, there was a general move toward BYOD as users, including high-level executives, wanted to use their personal gadgets to get the job done.
Of course, this initial vision wasn't to be, as security and technology control problems led IT to push back, which then led users to look for their own solutions (including establishing shadow IT departments). That was until IT pushed back again with stricter policies and enforcement strategies. All of this came to a head when California passed a new law that mandated employers to reimburse employees for personal device use in the workplace, adding a new layer of complexity that promises to create major challenges in 2015.
All told, the one thing that is clear in BYOD coming out of 2014 is that it is creating major challenges. Sophisticated IT service management strategies can play a huge role in easing BYOD challenges, and three noteworthy tools that help IT succeed in managing personal mobile devices include:
1. Self-Service Portals
Giving users the ability to help themselves within preset boundaries created by IT can maintain the control technology teams need while still ensuring users are free to manage their personal devices themselves. A self-service portal lets users set up their devices to work on the corporate network, seek help troubleshooting basic issues and complete other key tasks without needing to rely on IT.
2. Build a Service Catalog
BYOD centers around the idea that business users want freedom to leverage the technology they favor to complete work tasks. IT teams that create a service catalog can give employees access to an internal storefront of apps and services that IT has deemed workable within the configuration, making it easier to balance IT control with user freedom.
3. Establish a CMDB
One of the greatest challenges that comes with BYOD is trying to maintain control of the configuration. The key challenge here is that end-user devices owned by workers, not IT, make it difficult to anticipate all of the hardware accessing the corporate network. A CMDB can capture smartphones and tablets as configuration items, creating the transparency you need to create control.
The BYOD movement creates a wide range of IT challenges, but effective ITSM strategies help CIOs balance control and freedom to find success.