A little Bring-Your-Own Drama

BYODToday is going to be an exciting day! With my new iPad fashionably dressed for the occasion, I head into the office. Today we start Bring-Your-Own-Device to work! Although this saves my boss a lot of money, and sets me a back a large chunk of my paycheck, I can finally choose what I am going to work with. And my netbook and my desktop at home are both not suitable for work.

How wonderful it will be to work with one computer! No more struggling with Dropbox or USB sticks to transfer files from one place to the other; finally I can update software when it suits me. Never again will I be interrupted by a mandatory immediate reboot while in the middle of a Live Meeting training to 20 people across the world. (Yes, this has really happened).

My new colleague had already told me that she would not have accepted this job if she could not use her MacBook. I think that is rather a “spoiled brat” attitude. Work has different rules than play, however much the times and locations for work and play are being intermingled these days.
My other colleague has been grumbling for days because he is no longer entitled to a business laptop and is too stingy to buy something from his own money. So he has brought an old laptop that has been collecting dust in his attic for some time. Even the local charity does not want it anymore.

I have already checked my email on the train, so once settled, I decide to go to the intranet first. Now, what was that URL again? I have never had to remember that! After some typo’s I manage to log on smoothly. Hold on, what am I saying: LOG ON? What has happened to Single-Sign-On? Do I need to log on every time from now on? That is not exactly progress!
The Homepage looks a little strange. Some headers display differently than I am used to, and some texts that should be clickable, are not. But the document I am looking for in my department’s Team Site is still there, and I need to update it with the latest insights. Hey, why can’t I edit it? Oh wait, that can only be done if you have IE and Office. Or the SharePlus app, but does anyone know if that works with our on-premise SharePoint? I decide to download the document, then edit and upload it again. Too bad it loses its version history, but I can’t be bothered really; it has to be updated. This all takes more time than with my office laptop though.
Phew, typing texts with just a touchscreen is not that easy! Perhaps I should buy an extra keyboard if I have to write these large chunks of text.

When my document has been saved again, I check the status of my order in SAP. But why can I not log on to SAP? Let me call the Helpdesk.
“Which system  and browser are you using? IOS? Safari? O, I am sorry, we are still learning about that. We are accustomed to Office and IE. Can you please call back in a week, we expect to have figured out all those new systems by then.”

The order is not that urgent, so I decide to update my performance and development plan on the Employee Portal. I can’t seem to find the brand new instruction videos that should be on the instructions page since last week.  “Those are in Flash”, the HR employee sobs when I call for enquiries.

At the coffee machine (iPad under my arm, because I am afraid to leave it on my desk unattended), I run into our Project Manager Green IT. He looks unhappy. “All my project goals are messed up”, he says, “we used to have a nicely uniform low energy consumption and now we have a zillion of different systems with different power usage…and everyone seems to be charging their devices continuously at the office.”
The Security Officer joins us with a tired face. “You do not want to know what I have seen in our systems”, he sighs. “People are using the strangest software at home. It is a matter of hours before there will be a major issue. And think about all those unsecured Wifi connections that people will be using on trains and in restaurants, and all our business data being passed through unprotected systems. How can I still do my job?”
“You are not alone” I tell him. “Many people are thinking about the implications of BYOD“.

“But do you know what happens if my iPad crashes, or is completely broken?” I ask them. “Will the Helpdesk fix it? And do I get a temporary replacement?” They shake their heads, much to my annoyance. Their remark that, in case of loss or theft, they can remotely wipe my device and all its content, including my personal stuff, does not really make me any happier. “And”, the Security Officer adds, “if your phone or iPad or laptop contains potential evidence in a lawsuit or investigation, you will have to hand it over for investigation. That may take some time, and they will have access to your personal content too”.

Hmmm, I do not know if the price for “Bring Your Own Device” is not a little too high…

Of course the above story is entirely fictional. And while I am convinced that we can start today with Bring-Your-Own-Telephone to work,  I am also quite certain that at a lot of Silicon will have to run through the Valley before 100% Bring-Your-Own-Computer will be a realistic option in every organization.

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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