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Alf's Zoo - This week, Bruce Kasrel enters the Zoo to talk about Mobile Device Management. With all the mobility, even baristas are ordering inventory from an iPhone. But who is going to  manage the influx of devices? If everybody is mobile, does everybody need MDM? And what's the difference between MDM and app stores? These and many other questions are answered before Bruce leaves to watch a WW II re-enactment.

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While the reticence to fully embrace the BYOD trend is somewhat understandable, is it really still justifiable? One thing is for certain: there’s still plenty of fear, uncertainty and doubt being spread about the integrity and viability of BYOD as a business-computing platform.


This article from USA today loosely defines the perceived problems and risks that BYOD could bring to organizations; cold comfort for those already nervous about this accelerating (and inevitable) phenomenon. A large part of an effective answer, the piece suggests, is an exhaustive BYOD policy - especially if it’s backed up with the threat of disciplinary action.


byod_happy.jpgA well thought out and broadly communicated ‘acceptable use’ policy is certainly useful and probably a legal requirement in some operating environments. But the underlying philosophy should really be one of enablement, not limitation.


By the way I’m not picking on USA Today or the author; it’s not exactly difficult to find similar tales of foreboding when it comes to BYOD. It’s also less the content I object to, some of the guidance makes great sense. No, my issue is more with the tone and outlook – BYOD is not a bad news story for business.



Reasons to be cheerful


BYOD really does offer some significant potential rewards and savings to organizations: “A whole tier of high performance technology infrastructure, at greatly reduced cost? One that we don’t need to procure and upgrade?”


“Where do I sign?” might be a better response than handwringing.


Not to mention the definite and even documented boost in productivity from a more empowered, engaged and connected workforce.  The potential cost savings and overall increase in corporate effectiveness just doesn’t get enough coverage outside the tech publications.


Is BYOD risk free? Of course it isn’t – but name a commercial computing platform that truly is. In reality there are lots of things you can do to mitigate and control the risks associated with BYOD and mobility more generally.



Just eMail and browser access? (you can do better than that)


You really can do so much more than offer email connectivity or browser access and you can do it safely and easily.  Some companies limit BYOD access to these basic services, fearful of exposing more sensitive corporate systems and data. There’s equal (and more understandable) anxiety over allowing unauthorized apps to run riot on corporate networks.


However, enterprise app management systems, like BMC AppZone, mean you can give your employees access to apps that you own and manage without compromising security. And it doesn’t make life difficult for employees either, the interface is every bit as slick and accessible as the consumer alternatives.


The solution is sophisticated enough to manage the entire app lifecycle too: from procurement to retirement. It also spans all platforms: mobile, cloud and desktop. So again, arguments about the incompleteness of solutions to support BYOD aren’t well founded.



Stable and secure


It’s the same story when it comes to the devices themselves. Some forward thinking organizations have developed comprehensive and well though out BYOD programs for their staff. Individuals are given a great deal of flexibility in what they can choose and operate in the working environment.


In return for this freedom, and occasionally financial subsidy too, the employee agrees to some device management capability on their machine. This not only protects the interests of the broader organization, but can also be a source of comfort and security for the employee too.


Left your beloved iPad in Starbucks? No problem, the additional security measures can ensure a much higher than standard level of protection for the device (and its contents too). It can even be remotely wiped if it were to be stolen or compromised.


There will, of course, be a negotiation between parties as to what an appropriate degree of control is for an employee owned device. However, from what I’ve seen, provided it isn’t invasive, the additional benefits and flexibility that BYOD offers make the installation of some systems management capability a non-issue for many.


More good news stories please!


Anyway, rant over, I think BYOD is a good news story, and I’d love to read more about organizations where it has been transformational. What’s your BYOD story? What benefits has it brought to your working environment? You can comment below, or you can find me on Twitter as @messagemonger





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We’re heading to the Fusion 13 Service Management Conference October 20 – 23, 2013 and if you’re going to be there or are thinking about attending we hope to see you there!  Fusion 13 is a great venue for learning, sharing and collaborating on IT Service Management with your peers and industry experts and we’re excited to be part of your amazing Nashville experience!


Start your Fusion experience at the BMC Software booth #306 (we’re right by the entrance, you can’t miss us!) where you’ll learn how BMC can help you optimize your multi-sourced technology environment and increase business agility by automating and industrializing IT all while amazing and delighting your users and the business!


In the booth we’ll have live BMC product demonstrations and a theater where you can enjoy a few minutes rest while you learn how the consumerization of IT is shaping new rules for IT service and support.

In addition to the great experience at BMC booth #306, I encourage you to attend the sessions delivered by the BMC team:


Power to your people: Transforming the end user experience of IT (Alf Abuhajleh, yes, he of Alf's Zoo!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 7.30am in the Lincoln C/D/E Room


It's not self-service if it actually empowers people (Chris Dancy - the one and only)

Monday, October 21, 2013 at 12.40pm at the Solutions Spotlight Stage in the Expo Hall


We hope your travels to Nashville are safe and that you have a fantastic experience at Fusion 13 , the BMC team looks forward to seeing you there!



MyIT enters the AppZone

Posted by David Manks Oct 7, 2013
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82% of employees now rely on multiple applications in the workplace. After all, the apps that we use in the workplace are the life blood of business today.  Or so said a recent survey we commissioned with Forrester, and I have no reason to doubt it: it seems like almost every organization I meet puts getting better visibility and control of apps, especially mobile apps at the top of their priority list. 


Combine this explosion in business-critical mobile infrastructure, with the increasing pressure for IT to provide a more accessible and consumer like experience, and you get something that looks an awful lot like MyIT 1.5 - released last week at the WW Remedy User Group event.


In addition to now being available across multiple mobile platforms and providing multi-language support, MyIT 1.5 also boasts a seamless integration to our enterprise app store: BMC AppZone.



Having everything on tap


You build it, but will they show up? Like any other self-service initiative, to be really successful an enterprise app store has to be easy to access and very easy to use. MyIT’s purpose is to bring important IT services together in one simple app and make them much easier to consume. This makes it a very natural home for an enterprise app store.


The new integration means people will be able to locate and install apps with just a few taps, from any device and any location. It also opens up the possibility of using apps as an integrated part of the other services MyIT provides. You could embed an app as a response to a search for knowledge in MyIT, or as a response to a service request for example.



Where next?


One thing is for certain: you’ll continue to see MyIT evolve and we’ll continue to add more capability - but how would you extend MyIT? What capabilities or integrations do you think would make the biggest difference to the employees you support? I’d love to know! So drop me a note in the comments below or you can find on Twitter as: @dmanks