Saturday, May 23, 2015

(The Big Disrupt) CIO and BYOD: The CIO's Nightmare That Is BYOD

Like any executive in the C-suite, life isn't easy for CIO's but with the myriad of forces pushing against the CIO from BYOD (bring your own device) and shadow IT, it's quite easy to argue that being a CIO is a thankless task.

You would think in the information laden age we live in today that Chief Information Officers wouldn't be one of the most undermined and put upon player in the C-suite as employees demand BYOD programs and other business units rival the IT department in IT spending, most notably marketing.

The challenge facing CIO to provide business value to their organizations while maintain a robust IT infrastructure are made difficult by the two head dragon that is BYOD and shadow IT as While BYOD may help CIO's save their organizations millions in carrier costs, it also opens up CIO's and their organizations to security and privacy risks which can end up damaging their organizations brand and may cost CIO's their job.

CIO's can negotiate the security risk BYOD offers with smart mobile device management (MDM) and even smarter polices regarding the use of devices but despite these remedies, CIO's still find themselves having to bend to the will of the management and employees of their organizations. CIO's clearly see the advantages of BYOD such as getting companies closer to the modern business nirvana of increased speed, productivity, agility and mobility of the workforce and the organization as a whole. CIO's see this as a way to add value to the business by giving their organization an competitive advantage which, in a context where most markets are more competitive than they've ever been, would make CIO's key players in their organization if they pull it off.

However, in doing so they risk also exposing themselves to catastrophe in trying to be innovative as there is no A for effort in business especially at the corporate level. CIO's have general embraced this new demand to provide business value by their CEO’s especially those in the tech space who generally tend to be more entrepreneurial and more inclined to embrace new technologies than CIO's in other fields.

Their enthusiasm to bring business value to their organization means collaboration with other members with the C-suite but in a number of surveys CIO's are failing to strengthen relationship with their marketing counterparts which is unfortunate given their relationship with their CMO is quickly becoming one of the important in the C-suite. CIO's have been so bad at making nice with their marketing counterparts that a number of organizations have had create new positions to bridge the gap.

The further adoption of BYOD may help bridge the gap between IT and Marketing organizations as marketing  organizations are arguably the most likely to benefit from BYOD. However, to a certain extent, it doesn't matter if CIO's are for BYOD as employees in their organizations already use mobile for work and personal purposes and great deal of employees do it without IT signing off on the practice.

This practice will only get worse with device savvy millennials entering the workplace in full force sure to tip IT's hand in adopting BYOD due to the demand for employees to use their own devices. Most CIO's want to be innovative and do see the productivity gains to be had by embracing BYOD but given their core responsibility to ensure their organization's IT infrastructure is robust, the embrace of BYOD can complicate matters.

The embrace of BYOD has complicated matters for CIO's so much that it has become a major priority for them in such a short space of time. The risks BYOD along with other security concerns open up CIO's and their organizations to is why new positions such as the CTO, CSO and CISO to deal with the implementation and security of new technologies which to a certain degree undermines the relevancy of the CIO despite in most cases these executives report to them.

In sum, forward thinking CIO's are more than prepared to embrace BYOD given its potential increase productivity throughout their organizations but doing so comes at the price of handing CIO's more responsibility yet making the CIO irrelevant as CIOs' find themselves at the pointy end of sharp irony that finds CIO's becoming more irrelevant in an age that's more IT driven than ever.

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