Four top CIOs herald an era of ‘bring your own… everything’
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Four top CIOs herald an era of ‘bring your own… everything’

I-CIO editorial team – January 2013

Today, some 340 million consumer-owned smartphones and tablets are regularly used in the workplace, according to data from Juniper Research. And organizations that implement bring your own device (BYOD) programs report significant wins for companies and employees alike. In a recent Forrester survey, 70% of respondents at organizations with a BYOD program report increased revenues, and in an Aberdeen survey, 61% report higher employee satisfaction. We asked four CIOs to outline the challenges and benefits of implementing BYOD – and wider bring your own technology – policies.

Kim Stevenson
VP and CIO, Intel
World’s largest semiconductor maker with annual sales of $54bn


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Since 2004, the market for consumer IT has exploded and the market for business IT has effectively been flat. So if you’re an investor, where are you going to put your money? You’re going to invest in the growing market, of course, not in the flat one. So we have to appreciate the fact that, for the foreseeable future, innovation will come from the consumer market first. As CIOs, we have to ensure that we reap the benefit of that right across our companies.

We’ve done a few things at Intel in response to this situation. In particular, we have enabled a BYOD program for phones and tablets — we’ve been very aggressive in this area. And we saw very quickly that there was a proliferation of choice. What this meant was that we went from one OS environment and about four or five choices of hardware to multiple mobile operating systems and many, many choices of hardware.

So, in order to ensure that our people are able to get the maximum benefit from the program and make the best choices, we analyze device options and OS upgrades, and publish a proactive evaluation before something new hits the market.

For example, before the iPhone 5 was launched, we told our people what we thought of the device, and they could follow our recommendation or not. (And generally our employees are technically astute enough to heed the advice we give!)

As a result, we’ve been able to achieve a lot of customer satisfaction — such as when we tell people to avoid specific technology for a certain period of time because we believe they’re going to have problems with it.

This proactive approach has really helped to improve the image of IT and has got us in front of some of the challenges that can arise when supporting the consumer market environment.


Brian Katz
Global head of mobility engineering Sanofi
French healthcare giant with more than 110,000 employees in 100 countries

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You don’t need a BYOD strategy. Anyone who says that you do is trying to sell you something. BYOD is purely and simply about who owns the device, nothing more. What you do need, though, is a mobile strategy, and BYOD only needs to be a small part of that.

The thing to care about is what employees do with the device, regardless of who owns it. Organizations should be looking to write mobile policies based on what they want to limit employees from doing and — here’s a big one — they should be trying to tell employees what they do want them to do. Who actually owns the device only affects this slightly.

However, it does matter how you manage the devices and control access to corporate systems. In order to ensure our BYOD policy is manageable from a security and support point of view, at Sanofi we don’t say employees can bring whatever device they want. We say that, based on the controls and the abilities of the device, they will get certain levels of access.

“You don’t need a BYOD strategy. You need a mobile strategy — and BYOD only needs to be a small part of that.”

So, we’re pretty easy-going about iOS. When it comes to Android, we look at Samsung and Motorola devices, but, for example, we won’t look at LG devices, because we do not feel they have security controls that we are able to manage.

But information security is a problem that has existed for years. Half a century ago, people were going home with briefcases that contained sensitive information. Why? Because they didn’t get all their work done during the day and they had to get it finished.

The same has been happening with laptops for 20 years. But mobile brings the issue to the fore and enables you to start tackling the problems you should have been tackling already. Information management is not new. But now you have a reason to actually do it.

George Baroudi
CIO, Long Island University
One of the US’s largest private universities

We are a global university with branches in 10 countries, including India, China and Australia, as well as various locations in New York state. Our employees and students could be anywhere, so we have to ensure they have access to the data they need wherever they are. As CIOs, we must stay ahead of the curve and realize that implementing a BYOD policy is an effective way of facilitating that — and, indeed, it’s the best way to offload a great deal of maintenance contracts.

At the same time, I believe it’s a myth that if people bring their own devices to work they’re going to compromise the network. Here, a clear policy is extremely important, because you don’t want IT to say, “We will support anything.” You have to be precise in telling employees that corporate information must be protected, and we will protect it — but you have to tell them in the same breath, “We understand the need for you to use this device or application.”

So, in our organization, we need more IT analysts who understand our users’ functional needs, and fewer geeks that just say no.

BYOD policies are not a question of one size fits all. There are multiple ways of rolling one out, and the route we have taken at Long Island University is to focus on the “I” in IT - the information. So we will ask the user, “What information do you need to access to get your work done?” Then we will give them security clearance that will allow or restrict access based on that information and what device they are using.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, nothing is going to change. We still have our IT infrastructure, we still have our single sign-on, we’re still going to be watching out for any bad issues that may arise. In that respect, BYOD doesn’t change many of our processes.

Oliver Bussmann
EVP and global CIO, SAP
Enterprise software vendor with annual revenues of €14bn 


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And, for those who don’t qualify for a corporate mobile device, in the last year we have been rolling out a BYOD program on a country-by-country basis, starting in Asia, then North America, South America and now Europe. We have learned a lot from the rollout. First, the business effort required is almost equal to the IT effort, due to the many issues around data privacy, legal, security, HR, taxation, communication and so on.The desktop of the future will be a mobile one. Simultaneously, the generation leaving college and university is demanding to have only one device, while the line separating their private and work lives is fading — and this is driving their expectations going into the corporate world. In this climate, therefore, BYOD is absolutely critical.

Encouraging our employees to adopt a mobility mindset is also very important to us. As a consequence, SAP is now the world’s second largest enterprise user of tablets, with over 18,000 deployed to date. We have also moved from supplying employees with a single company BlackBerry to allowing them to choose from more than 10 different mobile phones, running either Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry or Windows.


Second, BYOD needs a country-by-country approach: we started with a global framework, but that had to be adjusted to meet local requirements — although we always use the same mobile device management tool as with our corporate devices. Third, strong leadership from the CIO is necessary to clear the many hurdles that could slow down or halt the implementation.

I am convinced that the BYOD trend is not going to stop. On the contrary, I believe it will soon start to include other devices, such as laptops and desktops.

Update: In June 2013, Oliver Bussmann became Group CIO at UBS.


First published January 2013
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