Integrator SCC has issued a stark warning to CIOs as the ongoing onslaught of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) continues.
Speaking at the annual CIO Connect Conference, SCC's CTO Ian Sherratt acknowledged that IT departments were being presented with many new challenges as the consumerisation of IT becomes ever more prevalent in the workplace and more staff bring in their own tablets and smartphones.
"For the past few years, people from around the industry have been involved in multiple discussions about the consumerisation of IT, but now the time for talking is over. The BYOD movement has accelerated with such rapidity that it has already become commonplace, and is fast creating a very real range of issues for enterprises across the country," he said.
"Users are increasingly demanding to use mobile apps and a range of hardware within the corporate context while simultaneously insisting upon using their own devices for workplace functions too. They are defining their own productivity needs," he added.
Sherratt explained the traditional CIO role is under increasing pressure and fast becoming at risk, with many needing to redefine the role they play in company operations and the need for them to switch to a business benefit and service focus.
SCC believes the need to change to a more data and user-centric approach is creating major challenges for corporate CIOs as demand from users places increasing pressure on networks, data and security, while simultaneously creating rising demand for new approaches to manage sprawling hardware inventories. Quality of data is becoming increasingly important, Sherratt added.
He asked: "Do [firms] fully understand the corporate data landscape? Do their users trust it? Is there a plan for its maintenance, curation and exploitation and what can that do for them if they understand the true value of their data? What is the business cost of poor-quality data? What do you not know about your customers that could have changed your ability to delight or retain them? These are the questions that today’s CIOs should be asking, because not understanding data and how to apply it is costing companies real money right now.”
In conclusion, Sherratt issued a stark warning for all CIOs.
“The pace at which BYOD and the new wave of mobility has taken off is breathtaking. The industry is accustomed to operating a refresh cycle of three to five years or more around traditional desktops and laptops, but that process is fast evaporating and we must come to terms with the fact that users like what they like, and five years is a long time to be staring at the same window on the world, especially now.
"You could try to stop the process, but if you prevent people using the device of their choice, all the evidence shows that they will simply find ways to circumvent the rules – leaving organisations in a position where they will struggle to preserve data integrity and security because too many of their workforce are operating outside of the corporate governance system. Take heed: this is a do it, or have it done to you scenario,” he said.
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