Tag Archives: planning

Build Your BYOD Community

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

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How to Write your 2012 Technology Roadmap in Minutes

For the next 12 months do you know where you are going with technology?  Do you know how much you are going to spend on IT?  Are you just along for the ride, playing fireman and only putting out fires as you go? How will you measure your success for the next year? As we begin the New Year is it an excellent opportunity to spend a little bit of time thinking strategically about where your organization is going, why you are going there, and how to arrive. As well, arrive within an approved budget and set expectations.

Don’t make this planning task bigger than it needs to be. A well-thought-out Technology Roadmap consists of 4 parts:

  1. Problem Statements
  2. Solution Option(s)
  3. Recommended Solution
  4. Executive Summary

These parts don’t need to be long diatribes. In fact, the longer they are the less likely they’ll be read by others. Think a couple sentences for each point. More detail can be added later if requested. Just having an outline of a plan will put you ahead of the majority of IT organizations.

PROBLEM STATEMENTS

IT is typically a very reactive group. Many people want to jump straight to the solution without considering the problem they are trying to solve; a user has a problem and you want to fix it. Don’t be tempted to skip this step and go straight for the solution. Slow down and make yourself write a couple sentences as to what really is the problem you are trying to address. This process often exposes angles you haven’t thought of and intersections with other problems in your organization. Technology problems are usually small symptoms of larger interconnected systems and processes. Stating the problem draws these connections out. Perhaps a more unified and simpler answer exists. Take the 10 minutes to think before you jump.

SOLUTION(S)

Now that you have defined the problem you can approach tactical response(s).  It could be a single solution option – but many problems have multiple paths for resolution. You don’t need to go overboard with options.  It is best to keep it to 3 options at most – a low-cost, mid-cost, and the Cadillac option. With each option include the following:

  • Dependencies (if any)
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages (including risks)
  • Cost
  • Timeline

You goal is to keep this brief – think summary – not verbosity. The goal of this exercise is not to write a dissertation and have every last detail considered but to put a framework around a technology discussion. Keep it simple; stick to the couple sentences guideline for each bullet point.

RECOMMENDED SOLUTION

Lastly, briefly state what the recommended solution is and why. Use this part to honestly asses what the minimum viable solution would be. We would all love the Cadillac solution – but will it be overkill, adding cost and complexity to the problem?  Make sure to remember that you want a system to run with the minimal maintenance as possible. What is the right-size solution for your organization?

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Executive Summary is a rollup of the total costs and timeline of the recommended solutions. This will help with the decision making process to not only identify if costs are within budget (or what the budget ask should be) as well as what resources will be required to execute the roadmap.

Taking the small bit of time to figure out where to spend your time and IT budget for the coming year will reap big rewards and give you a way to measure success. Whether you are a one person show or part of a large enterprise, is it worthwhile to set a known course for this next trip around the sun. Why not spend the time to make it the most productive year yet!

Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of AdminBridge – providing IT Administration from mobile devices. For more information visit http://adminbridge.com

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