5 considerations for device choice management

We all know how important devices are in our lives – but with all the acronyms around concerning devices in organisations, you could be forgiven for thinking that devices control organisations too.

We have bring your own device (BYOD), choose your own device (CYOD) and, more recently, the Corporately Owned and Personally Enabled (COPE) device.

Before we get any more tortuous acronyms, let’s look at five considerations that underpin any prudent approach to software and device management, whatever you choose to call it.

1.  INFORMED CHOICE EMPOWERS PEOPLE

People are happier when they have a choice.  Having the power to choose a device to use in the workplace was initially a simple case of determining a preference for one style of device over another.  With technology moving ever-faster, choices may be guided by considerations of form, factor and specification but they are also influenced by trends driven by the profession and peers.  Employees need tools and guidance to make an informed choice about all manner of specifications based on their personal preferences and professional needs.

2.  MULTIPLE OPTIONS DEMAND AGILE MANAGEMENT

Throughout 2016 we will see the release of an ever-increasing range of devices and software, spurred on by major launches of smart watches from Apple and Samsung. This trend of escalating options is set to continue with some pundits suggesting more than two in three employees will be more productive using so-called ‘wearable’ technology. Managing this multitude of devices and options requires a sophisticated and agile approach.

3.  SECURITY DEMANDS A HOLISTIC APPROACH

IT departments tend to focus on technology to solve security concerns. Mobile device management solutions from leaders such as Good, MobileIron and Microsoft with Intune dominate this approach. But the key to effective security relies on connecting at the personal level, where the appropriate policies and practices can be promoted as part of the process of selecting productivity tools.

4.  STAKEHOLDERS EXTEND BEYOND IT

Choice management needs to extend across the enterprise to engage with HR, Finance, and Procurement, as well as IT. While IT may determine the devices approved from a technical standpoint, the range of roles or level of seniority necessary to access some choices could be influenced by policies driven by the HR department. The choice management system also needs to defer to budgetary limits set by Finance, fit within defined procurement procedures, and coordinate the necessary approvals to synchronise the process.

5.  SOCIAL AND ‘CONSUMERISATION’ IN THE ENTERPRISE

People like people just like themselves. It’s a big factor in the rise of social and the ‘consumerisation’ of IT. Employees are influenced in their choices by trends in their profession and among their peers. A by-product of this is personal peer-to-peer support. Employees are comfortable seeking advice, guidance, and support directly from people just like themselves. The IT department may contribute to these forums and communities, but there is no expectation that any one entity is the source of support for any contingency across a multitude of devices.

In BYOD, CYOD and even COPE the emphasis is on the device.

Enterprise choice management is a new approach that manages the technology, policies and compliance to return the focus to choice.