The Razor’s Edge is a podcast series that examines “IT Services for the New Way to Work,” produced by CIO.com in partnership with HP Inc.
In this series, HP’s technology experts provide unique insights into the challenges associated with digital transformation and discuss how innovative, cloud-based services, solutions, and software can help you plan and prepare for what lies ahead.
The Razor’s Edge is hosted by Leif Olson, Distinguished Technologist at HP Inc., and he’s joined by Bruce Michelson, HP Distinguished Technologist Emeritus at HP; Jeff Malec, HP Lifecycle Strategist and Technology and Solutions Evangelist; and Cody Gerhardt, HP Distinguished Technologist and a Chief Technologist.
In Episode 3, the group discussed the concept of Bringing Your Own Device, or BYOD, which has been defined as “an approach to end-user computing that involves the support—and encouragement—of an organization’s end users accessing key managed IT resources on their own personal devices.”
Highlights from the episode follow.
Leif: “The first myth is that it costs less than a corporate-owned PC. That retail price may look cheaper, but we’ll discuss why it actually isn’t. Second, it’s going to happen anyway, and IT can’t fight the trend. Third, it’s already happening. Fourth, it enables me to exit lifecycle management for my corporate users. Fifth, it improves end-user satisfaction. Six is that it reduces help-desk calls. Seven, it has the support of leadership. Eight is that other businesses are doing it. Nine, it reduces my risk. And 10, It’s just like cell phones.”
The upshot? “It actually proves out that none of these are actually true, and that they are really myths about being good reasons to adopt BYOD,” he said.
Bruce: Changing demographics are really going to be driving BYOD, or at least the thought behind BYOD.
“Right now, millennials and Gen Z represent collectively about 25% of the market, depending upon where the workforce is and which industry you’re in,” he said. “By 2030, they will be 50% to 60% of the overall workforce. So a lot of the behaviors and desires by that generation are going to be reflected in a lot of BYOD discussions that will be going on.”
“As the installed base of devices begins to age beyond 36 months, BYOD is raising its head particularly because, during the pandemic, a lot of organizations extended the useful life of their devices,” he continued. “So now you’re comparing a shiny new consumer device, potentially, to a five-year-old [corporate] clamshell notebook. … Still, the general belief is, ‘Hey, if I’m not buying the product, overall it costs less.’ Wrong answer! Actually, BYOD in most instances actually costs more.”
Leif: “Just the raw cost of the PC” doesn’t tell the whole story.
Bruce: “What the TCO tools and practices taught the industry is that product acquisition price is not more than 10% of the overall cost of ownership. The rest of the cost of ownership is really tied up into software, direct support, the mobility infrastructure, service desk, etc. That’s where the real cost comes into play, in all things [having to do with] lifecycle.”
As the lifecycle subject matter expert in the group, Jeff cited three lifecycle “pitfalls” with BYOD: security, management, and licensing.
Cory cited software issues throughout the lifecycle.
“It comes down to who manages the software, who keeps the software up to date, what software could co-mingle on that platform,” he said. “You could have a user who plays games on there as well. That could cause issues. There are all kinds of conflicts. And then there’s the data. Who owns the data for everything that’s on that platform?”
And what if the device is lost?
“There’s an issue where the software that’s configured in the MDM [mobile device management] software will try to erase everything that’s in the commercial domain,” said Jeff. “But it’s hard to delineate across personal and consumer data on those devices, and many times what happens is you just blow up the system. You just wipe it out completely. And if you’re not backed up using a service like Microsoft OneDrive, for instance, all your pictures and emails and tax returns are gone forever.”
Leif: “Let’s talk about the stakeholders. If the C-Suite says, ‘Let’s adopt BYOB,’ who has the final decision-making authority?”
Bruce: “For me, this is a very easy discussion. This is a security issue, and the decision being made is that you’re allowing non-corporate content into the corporate organization. And that’s security 101. And everybody has input into it.”
Cody: “I go back to a very simple statement we often make: Every IT decision is a security decision. … So when you look at a device that’s BYOD, and it likely doesn’t have some of the security rigor that a commercial device has, there’s a higher chance of that system being attacked and data being lost. I think I think it’s a very simple now and moving forward because of the nature of technology. The baseline is a security decision. And if you can’t protect it, control it, manage it, and update it, it’s not a wise decision.”
Leif: “OK, group, are you for or against BYOD? I’m against it.”
Bruce, Jeff, and Cody: Against it.
In closing, Leif previewed the next episode of The Razor’s Edge, which will cover the topic of personas and user segmentation and their positive impact on the end-user experience.
Have a question for Leif and the guys? You can reach them here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready for a deeper dive? Meet with an HP Services expert.
Don’t miss Episode 1: Modern Management and Episode 2: The Great Resignation.