Embrace BYOT for the Innovation It Can Deliver

Jan 14, 2014

Employees are increasingly using their own technology—devices, services and applications—while at work. This trend, known as “BYOT” (bring-your-own-technology), represents a dramatic shift in how technology is discovered and adopted. Historically, employees were introduced to new technology at the office, and adopted it at home only when its value to their personal lives became clear, and prices went down. But today, it’s more likely that employees discover new technologies on their own, and bring them into the workplace as they see fit.

CIOs and other tech leaders should take advantage of BYOT for many reasons, but the biggest is its impact on innovation. There’s a reason so many employees are using their personal smart phones and tablets, services and applications—they enable their own productivity, making it easier to stay in touch with colleagues and customers, and up-to-date on company news and information. As employees embrace mobility, collaboration and social media in particular, they are using these tools at work to share expertise, knowledge and data—in real time, with people within and outside the organization. This leads to better processes, faster outcomes, improved customer experiences, new products and services—in a word, innovation.

But even as CIOs embrace the BYOT trend, they should also take their cue from leading-edge employees and their use of new technology and look for ways in which to formally deploy tools that will help less-forward-thinking employees see the same results as their tech-savvy colleagues. In doing so, IT leaders will ensure that the new devices and applications are controlled and secure, and that they are being used to maximum effect for the benefit of both employees and the company as a whole.

As CIOs do this, Frost & Sullivan recommends that technology investment decisions be based on a thorough understanding of end-user needs and requirements, organizational structure, processes and objectives, and major IT operational challenges. Successful technology implementation and management requires cooperation between IT and the rest of the business stakeholders.

With that in mind, we’ve developed a six-prong strategy for dealing with the consumerization of IT in your organization:

  • Define the Mobile Workers and Strong Collaborators in Your Organization
  • Identify the Consumer Technology Currently in Use
  • Assess Which Tools Have a Business Benefit
  • Determine What Technology to Upgrade or Deploy
  • Evaluate Where Benefits and Savings Lie
  • Set Policies and Procedures for the Use of Consumer Services and Devices

Ignoring the use of consumer technology in the enterprise won’t work—and it’s not a best practice, since employees are using these tools to improve business performance. IT and communications technologies are no longer just a cost item, but a key strategic asset. Businesses looking to leverage their IT infrastructure for a competitive advantage need to align their strategy with business objectives and evolving user needs. Instead of letting employees find, buy and use their own mobile communications and collaboration applications, companies should provide workers with the enterprise-grade tools they need to be as innovative as possible.

Melanie Turek


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