As more and more enterprises grow into a milieu dominated by BYOD (either through intentional planning or organic stumbling) the importance of accessing a shared pool of community knowledge will become paramount. The “How-To” of consumerization of IT is a rapidly evolving body of knowledge. With BYOD being so new, CIOs down to IT administrators will have little to no back-history to draw upon for planning, implementation, and support. Organizations will do well to connect with the BYOD community at large to share and learn as they go.
Besides the obvious reason of following in the footsteps of other’s success, why should an enterprise allot dedicated time, energy and resources to connecting with other enterprises who are formalizing BYOD? One good reason is that those “footsteps” disappear just as fast as they are made. The relevancy of patterns and practices can shift quickly – the success or mistake that an organization made yesterday may not even be a possible outcome today. Devices, Operating Systems, Apps, threats, etc. are changing so rapidly that what worked recently may no longer be relevant. A much better solution to the same problem may exist 1 month from now and therefore doing it as others have may be folly. Staying connected with others allows for rapid sharing of knowledge to keep abreast of changes.
Another excellent reason to be connected to the BYOD community is that other IT professionals have and are asking very important questions as best practices emerge. In fact, others are probably looking at the consumerization of IT in ways that you haven’t thought of yet; bringing up challenges, concerns, and strategy that would be very valuable to you and your enterprise. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to evaluate the problem set and keep on top of all the changes.
Those involved in strategic planning, implementation, and support of BYOD in the enterprise need to become part of a community. They need access to real time information. Relying on static documents and guides could prove troublesome as the device landscape and ecosystem continues to change and accelerate at a phenomenal pace. So where, besides twitter, can IT organizations connect with those in the thick of BYOD implementations? Here are a few resources to get you started connecting with others:
Galen Gruman, executive editor at InfoWorld, had started the group Consumerization on Linkedin. Linkedin groups are an excellent way to have ongoing dialogs with other subject matter experts. InfoWorld has also create a channel specifically for the Consumerization of IT. There is a plethora of current articles and information there.
A second group on Linkedin is BYOD : Bring Your Own Device. Again these groups are great for putting practical questions out there and getting feedback.
Another excellent online resource for connecting with those focused on enterprise mobility management is The Enterprise Mobility Forum. The Enterprise Mobility Forum’s mission is to be the global community builder and evangelist for showcasing the value of successfully deploying and managing mobility solutions within organizations in the public and private sector. You can find them at: http://theemf.org
Lastly, there is always the old-fashioned option of connecting in person with others at an event. One BYOD dedicated event that is right around the corner is the CITE (Consumeration of IT in the Enterprise) conference and expo. This will be held March 4-6 2012 in San Francisco.
No matter how you connect with other IT professionals for your BYOD planning, deployment, and implementation, it is important that you do. In the realm of BYOD, we are all walking along on a dimly lit path. Unfortunately, with such limited visibility there are bound to be a few of us who trip. But, with a few helping hands getting back up should be quick and easy. Better yet – perhaps someone will be able to catch you before you even fall! I would love to hear some of the ways you are connecting with the BYOD community at large – comment and let me know!
Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of AdminBridge – providing IT Administration from mobile devices. For more information visit http://adminbridge.com