This interview appears as a lead up to our CIO Summit 2012 in Malaysia on September 6, 2012. Khoo Hung Chuan, Country General Manager, Lenovo Malaysia will be tackling the prickly issues surrounding the Consumerisation of IT at the enterprise today, and looking to show the delegates in attendance how best to harness the advantages this trend brings and leverage them to grow their respective businesses. Here, Khoo discusses the inevitability of BYOD/BYOT (bring your own device/bring your own technology) and what organisations must be prepared to do to address it.
What is the best approach organisations in Malaysia should take in response to consumerisation?
Khoo: The reality today is that the consumerisation of IT is becoming a common occurrence in enterprises. It's a trend that seems like it's here to stay, and enterprises need to acknowledge and quickly adapt to it without affecting the operations of the business. Why resist it if it could turn out to be beneficial for the business-especially if it could increase the productivity and effectiveness of employees? That is one approach or mindset that organisations need to adopt at this point in time. Employees will continue to bring their own devices into the enterprise, with or without permission from IT, and it's the onus of the organisation to ensure that productivity and security are not compromised.
How should senior information executives and their ICT teams in Malaysia go about prepping their infrastructures to deal with BYOD/BYOT?
There is no silver bullet for organisations when it comes to addressing the BYOD trend. Employees are bringing their own devices into the enterprise today for various reasons such as improvements in technology, changes in lifestyle, and the rise of a new breed of applications and services that are delivered online. One solution that IT managers can take is first they need to understand if employees are looking towards bringing in their own primary device or secondary device. Most employees may prefer to have the PC owned and supported by IT. If that's the case, then we can divide up the BYOD policy into Ownership and Support. For a primary device like the PC, the organisation can still own and support the PC, therefore keeping the status quo. For secondary devices however, this can be provided on a BYOD basis, where employees can own their devices and they will support their own device, except for the company applications, which are still going to be supported by IT.
How well do organisations in Malaysia fare in comparison with their counterparts elsewhere in Asia and the rest of the world with respect to addressing the consumeriaation trend?
Although the BYOD trend is growing in popularity, it is still not the norm for most organisations, whether it's an organisation in the US or Asia. Nevertheless, the BYOD trend is bringing change to the enterprise and it will take time for organisations to adapt to it. IT managers do not like the fact that they do not have full control over devices or machines that are accessing the company network. Issues such as manageability and security continue to be top concerns as well. This brings us back to the years before notebooks were commonplace. IT managers back then were concerned with issues such as the security of data that resides on notebooks, and unauthorised access of the network. As notebooks grew in popularity, IT policies evolved, and new solutions were put into place to address issues around mobility computing. We believe that the BYOD trend will bring about the same change to IT policies and strategies as the notebooks did.
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