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Consumerization of IT [ARCHIVED]

16 Posts authored by: Alf Abuhajleh
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Alf's Zoo - This week, we continue the series on Internet of Things with Anthony Orr, who explains the zero moment of support (ZMOS). With billions of items coming on line, it'll take more than just a solid help desk to manage our brave new world. We also need to turn the avalanche of data we're collecting into predictive behavior. Deploying a system that converts an event into an automatic action that's based on human needs, not old-fashion SLAs, will allow us to harness the power of the next big thing.

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Alf's Zoo - This week, Hema Mohan tells us why we suddenly are so interested in the Internet of Things. It's stemming from an explosion of consumer apps, collaboration and the urge for a better life experience. In order to improve our world, we need to add artificial intelligence to previously dumb things to make them cognizant of our needs. Instead of telling us it is empty, the fridge orders a drone to deliver groceries to our home. Eventually, the IoT will reach the business world. And maybe one day, it can benefit our humanitarian causes, too.

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Alf’s Zoo – This week, we’ll kick off a series on the Internet of Things. IT experts and regular folks will join the Zoo to explain what IoT really is? How it will affect our lives at home and work. Its impact on our privacy and security. And how we are going to manage all those billions of things? First out is Bill Emmett, who provides a quick overview and helps me connect IoT to first-class powder skiing.

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Alf's Zoo - This week, Jon Stevens-Hall explains how Uber has changed our view of IT and the world. We no longer trust authorities as much as we trust our peers when it comes to selecting tools and services for work and life. Instead of prescriptive measures issued by so-called experts, we now rely heavily on peer-assisted selections, where we rate the vendor - and the vendor rates us. Imagine what customer reviews have done to online shopping, and ask yourself what IT can do to earn back some of the trust from its stakeholders. Jon provides one of the few concrete examples of how the consumerization of IT impact the business.

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Alf's Zoo - This week, Leslie Minnix-Wolfe hunts around the Zoo, talking about application-performance management. We are so dependent on digital services that a few moments of lag make us lose our patience. When we want stuff on the Internet, we want it now. Not five seconds later. APM also helps with compliance, as Leslie shares in a story about alleged HIPAA violations.

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Alf's Zoo - This week, the Zoo learns about the evolution of social media from Eric Tung, who's been sharing and engaging online for years. Starting as a cool toy, social media is now a key ingredient in any business' success. Actually, our hopes for steady employment is affected by the digital footprint we leave behind. Just like customers walk into stores armed with all the information they need to make a purchase, companies know you better than you think. If Target can figure out that you are pregnant based on buying decisions, Google has a pretty good idea if you'll fit the Borg.

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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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This week, the mindful cyborg, Christopher M Dancy, takes the Zoo on a trip, showing us contemplative technologies, explaining digital duality, and bemoaning the stress of non-organic social media engagements. We also learn about mindfulness and how it can help us deal with the avalanche of technology and data flooding our daily lives.

 

Learn more at: www.servicesphere.com/mindful-cyborgs-podcast/

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This week, product managers Hema Mohan and Michele McFadden take the Zoo through the amazing innovations in IT. From how augmented reality and real-time collaboration make us more productive to basic change management, we discuss how new technology works in the enterprise. We also touch on mindfulness, sensor monitoring and those pesky little arm bands that measure every aspect of our existence.

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This week, IT veterans Simon King and Anthony Orr share what excite them about modern IT. We talk about biotechnology's impact on our lives and how ubiquitous computing is changing organizational structures. Neural dust, robots and sensors. The rush of test-driving a Tesla and thrill of watching America's Cup sailing in San Francisco Bay.

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This week, founder and CTO of Vancouver-based Partnerpedia joins the Zoo to talk about how app stores evolved from mobile-only shops to a place where employees can download cloud, custom, desktop and mobile software. With the consumerization of IT, people want to have fun when trying out productivity tools - just like they do on iTunes, Google Play and salesforce.com's AppExchange. Geoff also gives his projections for the upcoming NHL season.

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This week, product managers Lorna Russell and Peter Adams talk to the Zoo about innovation in IT. From online gaming's impact on collaboration and virtualization to robots and social anthropology. Like punctuated equilibrium, innovation in IT seems to evolve in fierce bursts we must adjust to as quickly as possible.

BYOD Bolsters Business

Posted by Alf Abuhajleh Jun 26, 2013
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Unhappy with the outdated BYOD policy at his work, a friend of mine just announced he’s leaving his job.

 

"Can't do my work properly if I am not able to interact with customers and the guys back at the office while I'm on the road," said the long-time sales engineer at a financial software company. "Management is asking for more output. Expectations are going through the roof. But we’re barely getting email on our phones. I'll never meet my quota this way."


Unfortunately, he’s not alone. Most workers are deprived of the modern tools required to successfully conduct business in 2013. While two-thirds of companies lack BYOD policies, those who've managed to craft plans usually miss the mark, worrying more about fencing off the enterprise than enabling its people.


It’s no wonder then that 30% of devices are sneaked in behind the back of IT.thiefwoman.jpg


Understandably, for most enterprises the consumerization of IT is a headache. The avalanche of mobile devices, personal email accounts and file-sharing services employees introduce to the workplace daily are neither secure nor standardized. But there’s little IT can do to slow down the intensifying BYOD movement.


At the same time, IT is tasked with building clouds of services that reach everyone, everywhere, not just staff at office desks. Today, communications need to be as social as Facebook, as reactive as Twitter. And business applications must always be at your fingertips.


So how do you tie it all together? How do you transform your business to meet employees’ evolving demands?


Well, if the staff insists on bringing phones and tablets to work, let’s leverage the devices by sticking business apps on them.


With a mobile IT app like MyIT from BMC, for example, you can transform the challenge of IT consumerization into a business advantage. Deflect routine help-desk calls by letting employees report problems and ask for services from an easy-to-use app. Drive productivity with geo-location services that match your whereabouts with the nearby resources, such as available conference rooms, warehouse containers and ECG machines at the hospital.


The benefits of context-based services stretch from the front-office, where employees and customers request services, report issues and ask questions, to the back-office where requests are granted, problems fixed and queries answered. While tools already connect self-service portals with fulfillment engines, we need mobility to truly take advantage of a consumerized IT front-end and industrialize IT back-end.


Location is probably the most familiar mobile technology available. From Google Maps to Yelp, the GPS coordinates tell us where someone is and where they've been. We also can use geographic information to expedite IT services.


Here’s one simple example.


lostmobile.jpgWhen a sales guy travels to his firm’s New York office, his mobile email stops working upon arrival. Instead of calling the help desk, he opens the self-service app on his smartphone and logs a ticket.


Because the ticket logged from the phone shows his location, the help desk assigns a nearby IT technician to resolve the issue. The help desk knew the tech was in the vicinity because of the GPS coordinates broadcast from the mobile incident-management app.


While context-driven engagements allow the help desk to maximize its efficiency, it significantly alters the end users perception of IT. Chris Rixon recently wrote a critique on Forrester’s report "Exploring Business and IT Friction: Myths and Realities," arguing that location-based service and support "is going to be one of the most important factors in genuinely transforming an end users experience (and perception) of IT.  You can ensure that the notifications you provide to Alice are timely and appropriate to her role and location."


"You can offer her support that’s specific to the facility she currently finds herself in. You can provide connectivity information, the location of key devices and how to connect them. You can even provide floor plans and maps of where everything so she can orient herself in unfamiliar surroundings."


"Modern mobile computing devices are opening up new kinds of contextual information about their users. This information can now be used to massively enrich the IT experience and eliminate a lot of the wasted effort both sides expend in tracking down the right services at the right time."

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This week, time traveler Chris Dancy returns from the future to talk about the quantified human and enterprise. With Big Data spilling out of our ears, available for anyone to measure, people need to take control of their own information, using it to optimize our lives and learning more about ourselves.

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In the mobile revolution, modern IT organizations can take advantage of the big loads of data spilling out of phones and tablets to work smarter and faster. These clingy devices are highly efficient information aggregators. By adding context to each customer engagement, IT can pair a specific job with the best available service agent, based on whereabouts and situation, experience and schedule.

 

While most sensory data, such as voice pitch, body temperature and handgrip pressure, would overwhelm our analytic needs today, it’s easy to capture four variables with immediate impact on IT. By including context factors, such as geographical location, opportunity to add value, skill set and time of day, when dispatching assignments and managing operations, IT can thrill customers with unmatched service and optimize efficiency with smarter processes.

 

The benefits of context-based service engagements stretch from the front-office, where employees and customers request services, report issues and ask questions, to the back-office where requests are granted, problems fixed and queries answered. While tools already connect self-service portals with fulfillment engines, we need mobility to truly take advantage of a consumerized IT front-end and industrialize IT back-end.

 

Location is probably the most familiar mobile technology available. From Google Maps to Yelp, the GPS coordinates tell us where someone is and where they’ve been. We also can use geographic information to expedite IT services.

 

Front-Office: Jimmy, a sales guy, travels to his firm’s New York office for a customer meeting. Upon arrival, his mobile email stops working. He opens the self-service app on his smartphone and logs a ticket.

 

Back-Office: Because the ticket logged from Jimmy’s phone shows his location, the help desk assigns Sue, a nearby IT technician, who resolves the issue with ease. The help desk knew Sue was in the vicinity of Jimmy because of the GPS coordinates broadcast from her mobile incident-management app.

 

For help desks and service providers, location-based services is an easy way to manage service-level agreements. A Washington, D.C. firm even claims to never have missed an SLA since IT armed service agents with mobile apps seven years ago.

 

Opportunity is more elusive. When we are no longer tethered to a desk, we change the way we work. Away from the monitor, we act faster and smarter. With the right tools, we seize new productivity-boosting opportunities.

 

Front-Office: In New York, Jimmy is showing customers his firm’s latest gadgets. The monitor in the conference room works but the Bose surround-sound system doesn’t. Instead of panicking and calling the help desk, Jimmy opens his mobile self-service app and scans the QR code on the audio controller. This launches the Bose user manual on his phone. Within minutes, the customer presentation is back on track.

 

The demand for more Do-It-Yourself IT is discussed in a recent episode of the weekly broadcast  “Alf’s Zoo,” where Rob Otto explains why the next-generation of “extremely mobile” workers don’t want to pick up the phone and call the help desk.

 

Back-Office: Once done with Jimmy’s email issue, Sue is ready for her next assignment. But instead of calling or walking over to the help desk, she uses her incident-management app to search for other issues in the vicinity. She sees that the printer down the hall is out of order and that an executive with a corner office is having Wi-Fi issues. She assigns both tickets to herself, accelerating response time, eliminating travel time and optimizing her team’s time.

 

With skills, we refer to training and certification, experience and natural talent. Most IT support organizations are divided into three support tiers from junior help-desk clerks to subject matter experts. Assigning the right skill to the right situation is paramount both for IT and its customers, who nowadays want more service choices.

 

Front-Office: While Jimmy is a great sales guy, he’s no tech savant. He prefers desk-side support to solve issues like the email problem. But for simpler tasks, like a password reset, remote-access support and knowledge articles will do the trick.

 

Back-Office: When Sue arrives at the corner office, the executive’s Wi-Fi error is worse than expected. Sue needs to bring in networking expert. But fast, this is a VIP customer. In the incident-management app, she can see a list of T3/L3 technicians currently on call. She assigns the ticket to Tim, who’s right around the corner.

 

Time is one of the most underrated factors in our mobile world. Accustomed to the speed of Amazon.com, service of Zappos.com and personal touch of Apple Genius Bars, today’s business consumers demand 24/7 tech support in the work place too. With always-on access to the business, and the additional expectations it feeds, users argue IT should support them anywhere, anytime.

 

Front-office: Jimmy needs to upgrade his glitchy video card. He open the self-service app and schedule an appointment with the help desk. It’s late so he sets it for next Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in his Miami office.

 

Back-Office: As Sue is wrapping up her day, she notices the last two items on her docket require more time than she has left on her shift. Instead of postponing, she assigns one of the items to a colleague who just started her shift.

 

“For example, from their smartphones, they go to their online banking sites and handle all of their banking business from a single access point,” Jason Frye of BMC’s CTO Office wrote in a 2012 whitepaper on enterprise mobility. “They view account balances, write checks, transfer funds, and perform a variety of other tasks. Or they may go to an airline site to make reservations, purchase tickets, select seats, and check flight status. The possibilities are endless.”

 

“It’s only natural that people would demand the same kind of experience in their professional lives. In fact, knowledge workers of the generation now coming into the workforce are called digital natives because they have grown up in a world in which technology is a natural part of their everyday lives. They expect the same kind of technology experience in their workplace.”

 

Now imagine you’d pull it together, leveraging the context factors in a super engagement. The help desk assigns a close by service agent, with the proper skills, who have sufficient time to complete the task – and ideally can capitalize on the situation by conducting proactive maintenance or pick up tickets in the vicinity.

 

While context-driven engagements allow the help desk to maximize its efficiency, it significantly alters the end users perception of IT. Chris Rixon recently wrote a critique on Forrester’s “Exploring Business and IT Friction: Myths and Realities” report, arguing that location-based service and support “is going to be one of the most important factors in genuinely transforming an end users experience (and perception) of IT.  You can ensure that the notifications you provide to Alice are timely and appropriate to her role and location.”

 

“You can offer her support that’s specific to the facility she currently finds herself in.  You can provide connectivity information, the location of key devices and how to connect them. You can even provide floor plans and maps of where everything so she can orient herself in unfamiliar surroundings.”

 

“Modern mobile computing devices are opening up new kinds of contextual information about their users. This information can now be used to massively enrich the IT experience and eliminate a lot of the wasted effort both sides expend in tracking down the right services at the right time.”