When users are in control

Rodney Hobbs, the CSC Infrastructure CTO for Australia and New Zealand and I have been having a lot of good conversations on how the balance of power is shifting in IT from enterprise to worker.  Rodney wrote a great post on this recently introducing the concept that users are controlling their experiences not IT.  This is something that resonates strongly with me and I saw one story recently that highlights this shift starkly.  Avanarde is full of technical consultants, most highly mobile, most very technically savvy – they are a good example of how all knowledge workers will look across all industries in the coming years.  The story is one of employee choice and engagement.  Historically workers gained access to key communication and collaboration services on mobile devices and adoption rocketed.  At some point someone, probably with a risk assessment came up with a requirement for all devices to be brought under mobile device management (MDM).  The policies associated with MDM would mean that Avanarde had rights to see what was on devices, what people were doing with those devices and to wipe the device …. I paraphrase a little here from the video below:


What happened next was very interesting.  A 30%+ decrease in the use of mobile devices to access collaboration services.  Now they had a problem – the users had been dis-engaged from collaborating freely.  The business problem now swung from compliance risk to productivity loss.  IT was challenged with how to cope with both elements.  The solution was simple – protect the corporate data through enterprise mobility management (EMM) without the need for full device control.  The most intrusive the enterprise could become in this new EMM model was to delete corporate data.

The moral of the story is that we do need secure corporate data but when that security is applied aggressively to personal devices then people will vote with their feet and impact the productivity of the organisation.  The mind-set needed from IT is changing and Avanarde is a very good example of an IT organisation that responded quickly and changed approach to meet user need and adapt to the needs of the modern digital workplace worker.

I’ve been blogging about the worker being at the centre of defining conditional and contextual workflows that make them more efficient over on CSC Technology Perspectives.

Longer video explaining why Avanarde went MAM rather than MDM:

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