BYOD Education is Key for SME’s
March 28th 2013
Gerry McElligott from the Sunday Business Post reports:
According to Joe Molloy, director of managed services at IT Force, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon has been around for a lot longer than most people think.
Molloy said that he’d noticed the trend beginning to pick up steam at least three years ago. The only difference between then and now was that it didn’t have a name yet.
Executives in client companies were beginning to bring in an increasing range of their own devices in to the workplace, and expecting that their IT departments or managed services providers will be able to support them at a moment’s notice. Smartphones, tablets and even additional laptops were all being thrown into the mix.
These days, it’s not just the executives who are beginning to tote around an increased amount of hardware. It can be anyone in the organisation. Molloy said if you look at the average SME, in a typical 20 user organisation, you can expect to come across almost double that number of devices, i.e. nearly two devices per head.
As a managed services provider, he didn’t have any major problem with clients using additional devices in the workplace.
However, he said that if people didn’t go about it the right way, it could cause problems. In his experience, many organisations find themselves entering a BYOD situation on an ad-hoc basis. In other words, no decision is made centrally and people just tended to show up with a new device and expect it to work with a company’s system from the get-go.
'It wasn’t even a case of them telling us that they are introducing new devices,' Molloy said. 'They would ring us up and say, ‘I’ve a problem with my device and can’t get my email’. We’re logging on to a system we think is the original laptop, and then ten minutes into it we realise that it’s an iPad or a new laptop. So we’re asking them,
'When did you get that?’ and they’ll say ‘yesterday’. In small businesses, that’s the reality. We’re now trying to educate the user base.'
Molloy said that the main issue for customers is that productivity can suffer while issues are being ironed out. If a service provider knew in advance that new devices were on the way, there would be an opportunity to set everything up in advance to avoid any issues.
'Like any other managed service provider, we’ve enhanced our technology in how we can deal with this,' he said. 'We can now monitor the endpoint.
'When a client introduces a device for the first time, we can actually see it and we can head it off at the pass by setting them up.'