The “One-Size-Fits-All” BYOD Myth
Let me start with a spoiler alert: if you are searching for a one size fits all smartphone BYOD strategy or implementation template, I have some bad news; no such thing exists. Every organization, and I do mean every organization, is unique and thus disposes with any possibility for an easily repeatable BYOD model/template.
But before we get into the meat and potatoes, a little about myself. My introduction into the world of BYOD came in 2008. It was shortly after an iPhone update that enabled MS Exchange services on the device. Working in Silicon Valley for a large technology company, security wasn’t exactly a primary concern. The end goal was to have senior executives who wanted corporate email, calendar etc. delivered to their shiny new iPhones set up to do so. Needless to say, there weren’t any viable solutions back then to properly secure or manage these devices (and Android was still in a galaxy far, far, away), so in a sense we were BYOD pioneers at the time…and, in hindsight, big risk takers.
Over the next 6 years, I would be involved in countless BYOD initiatives either as a direct employee, or as a StrataPrime consultant. As a solutions provider, I searched for the holy grail: a secure, repeatable and packaged BYOD template (strategy, technology and implementation). Perhaps I was naive, a wayward mobile device philosopher trying to make the world a better place. Regardless, I eventually accepted that a packaged approach just wasn’t going to cut it. But why? After all, it seems like a simple formula:
Shouldn’t this be easily repeatable? Maybe as a controlled lab experiment! However in the real world, solution providers are confronted with an important, yet often overlooked variable: corporate culture; the beliefs that are at the heart of the DNA of an organization. Corporate culture is going to influence the direction of any program, BYOD included. Even in organizations with similar, if not identical business models, the variation of how a BYOD initiative plays out is significant. Adding to that, executive perspective on the value of BYOD and the interpretation of business drivers (often predicated on the executive/organizational culture bias) can further complicate the process.
Alas, what I had hoped to be simple and repeatable turned out to be diverse and complex. The good news is that this isn’t a bad thing. Diversity in approach forces solution providers to step up their game and really understand the organizations objectives…and the core of their DNA. Not recognizing corporate culture in the process of defining a BYOD strategy and implementation approach can only lead an organization down the path of failure.
Because a BYOD strategy isn’t one size fits all, any organization that is implementing or piloting BYOD should seek experienced help.