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BYOD and ITSM: What you need to know

Gerard Norsa | May 6, 2013
Highly functional personal devices are increasingly being adopted as technology tools in enterprise IT environments. This represents yet another challenge for CIOs and senior IT managers trying to use standards and frameworks-based IT service management (ITSM) processes for better governance and business benefits.

Highly functional personal devices are increasingly being adopted as technology tools in enterprise IT environments. This represents yet another challenge for CIOs and senior IT managers trying to use standards and frameworks-based IT service management (ITSM) processes for better governance and business benefits.

There are many ITSM implications to be considered if you allow employees to undertake some critical work tasks on the devices of their choice.

More than just being sold on the potential efficiency, mobility and cost saving benefits of embracing the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon as part of your IT service delivery, CIOs also have to concern themselves with new risk management issues relating to data control and security.

In addition to risk, there are also implications from BYOD adoption to core ITSM processes such as incident, problem, change and service level agreement management -- to name a few -- which must be considered.

In many cases, these are operational controls that IT organisations have invested heavily in over the last five years in search of cost savings, operational efficiencies and performance improvement.

Irrespective of whether you are managing IT operations in-house or utilising a third party services provider, BYOD has the potential to sully some of the processes that you currently have in place.

However, this does not necessarily mean that it is something that should be feared. Good process can accommodate BYOD. There are ways and means to mitigate the risks with the potential benefits being many and varied if managed astutely.

IT service provider Dimension Data recently embraced the BYOD concept within its internal operations.

Ian Jansen, CIO at Dimension Data said that when its internal BYOD journey began, it soon became apparent new ITSM policies and processes had to be created for effective service management as it was something quite foreign to traditional IT.

"The method which controlled our environment no longer sufficed; yet the fundamental need to secure, manage, support and service was still there," Jansen said. "Generally, people think of BYOD in terms of devices but in reality BYOD is also a change to applications, processes and the overall experience that employees have.

"It changes the way we deploy infrastructure and services and ultimately how we manage and operate IT. Having a best practice framework like ITIL to manage the BYOD challenge is incredibly useful."

Ian Jansen, CIO at Dimension Data

Jansen insists internal ITSM practices are applicable "more than ever" where an organisation allows BYOD but he does not see it as a threat to the application of traditional ITSM best practice.

"In order for BYOD to work, you need to have extremely well implemented policies and processes," he said. "Without them you can't provide the level of service required to make it successful.

 

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