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April 15, 2013

Decoding BYOD - Advantages & Implementation Challenges: Part-2

By Alpesh Chauhan, CRM Lead Consultant, Oracle Practice, Manufacturing Unit, Infosys


I have covered introduction to BYOD and advantages of adapting to BYOD program in part-1 of my blog. Even though BYOD promises to be beneficial to both corporates and employees, implementing such program successfully is not a piece of cake.

 BYOD Challenges - Image1.png

What are the challenges in implementing BYOD?

Decode-image5.png1. User acceptability of BYOD Policy: BYOD is usually seen as threat to the user's freedom with restricted or monitored usage of device. It is challenging to formulate BYOD policy which is acceptable by the users. Adoption rates will depend highly on the acceptability of BYOD policy.

2. Compatibility of current application architecture on Mobile: It is a key factor in deciding for BYOD strategy. Many ERP or CRM packages can't be accessed on mobile devices. Organizations need to analyze the changes that will be required in the existing architecture, to make it mobile compatible. Few CRM packages are expected to come up with mobile compatible solutions like Siebel Open UI. Business benefits can't be reaped until key applications or apps are available on mobile application.

3. Reluctance from moving out of existing platforms: Large corporates are reluctant in moving out of Blackberry platform as it is perceived / considered more secured than IOS or Android. RIM has already launched full-featured BlackBerry Z10 smartphones in start of 2013, which may delay corporates decision on moving to BYOD program further.

4. Higher Costs for Security: Security concern is the key risk. Mobile networks are perceived less secured compared to company intranet. It requires significant investments in protection technologies like authentication, encryptions, network access control, Mobile device and application management. Apart from that, major investments might be required in making enterprise applications compatible with mobile devices & in software licensing costs.

5. Data Usage Monitoring: Download controls and usage monitoring on devices might need to be implemented, in case of sensitive organization data, which users might not take it positively.

6. Network/Device support: BYOD will increase complexity for IT team as number of devices supported by them increases significantly. Companies may opt out of providing support for smart devices and might just provide basic network and device support. User may be required to contact device manufacturer in case of complex issues directly.


Storm has just begun
BYOD programs are going to be or already being widely implemented in the organizations from developed countries. Organizations in developing countries is going to take at least  2-3 years more before it becomes widely accepted.  Data Security concerns will deter organizations from adapting BYOD but eventually organizations will move towards BYOD. Corporate device policies will evolve from fully BYOD programs to mix of BYOD and client device programs over a period of time. BYOD is a storm which has just started and it is only going to get more momentum with the time.

April 8, 2013

Decoding BYOD - Advantages & Implementation Challenges: Part-1

By Alpesh Chauhan, CRM Lead Consultant, Oracle Practice, Manufacturing Unit, Infosys


Decode-image4.pngPeter  is  Sales  Manager and  his  job  involves  lots  of  travel to visit clients. He  is about  to start for the office. He logs into CRM application and checks  list  of  appointments  on  his personnel IPad. While  travelling  to customer  location, he checks client history and other details. He makes presentation to customer using his IPad. After this meeting he travels to office and prepares another presentation for next meeting on his IPad. He has downloaded useful apps which help him to complete work faster. In the evening, he uses same IPad for playing games on PS3 at his home.

That's BYOD!!!


BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program allows employees and partners to use their personal Phones/tablets/laptops at their work place. Wall between Enterprise devices and personal devices has started falling. BYOD programs  are acting as  catalyst for this fusion. Organizations are coming  up  with  the  formal  BYOD  policies, which  clearly  defines  all aspects of BYOD programs like list of eligible devices, reimbursement conditions and limitations, security policies, data/application access controls etc. 


Decode-image1.pngBYOD on the roll!!!
Android and IOS  based  devices  have  changed  mobile  market  in  last  couple  of years. Everybody  wants  Smart phone  and everybody is switching to smart devices. Mobile devices  used by the corporate users were significantly different than used by the consumer few years back. But smart phones have  converged corporate & personnel device into one smart device. There are  apps available for almost everything, which are used heavily by consumers in their daily work. More and more consumers are  using  smart devices for their official work. Employees prefer to use their personnel devices at work. There has been significant increase in iPad usage for their daily sales tasks by Field Sales professionals in  the  last  two years. CRM  product  vendors  are  coming up with the mobile solutions, which allow employees to access applications on their smart devices. Organizations have started realizing the significance of consumerization of IT.  


What are pros of using BYOD?

1. Faster New Technology adoption: Business  applications  are  slower  in  change  compared to  consumer based technologies. Mobile technologies  are in the  phase  of rapid  innovations  and expected  to continue  same growth in near future. Business applications can't be changed  at  the  same pace. Latest  mobile  technologies are available on smart devices at very affordable prices and users are upgrading fast. BYOD allows users to adopt and utilize new technologies faster, which will eventually benefit an organization.

2. Increased User Satisfaction: This  is  going  to  be  a  key  factor  in  acceptability  of  BYOD within an organization. User satisfaction is expected to increase with users being allowed to use their own devices, which in turn will increase BYOD adoptability.

3. Cost Savings: There will be upfront cost savings when companies  opt  for  BYOD than providing company owned handhelds in most of the cases. Amount of cost savings may defer based on the company's current cost on handhelds and voice usage plans.

  • Similar to Broadband usage compensation policies, companies may opt for partial payment of voice usage plans, which will improve cost savings. Smart phones are becoming affordable and companies will expect users to buy it on their own and not expect reimbursement for the cost of device.
  • Ongoing Support cost  may  increase  as  IT  department  need  to support wide  range  of  devices. Companies  may  refrain  from supporting devices to cut cost. 

There  are  certainly  many  benefits  of  implementing  BYOD  program  in  your  organization. But  one  should  definitely  look  at  BYOD implementation challenges before going ahead with BYOD. BYOD implementation challenges have been covered in detailed in Part-2 of my blog.

April 1, 2013

Changing Perspective of Larger Companies towards their IT Partners - Part 3

By Pavan Nagaraj Dixit, Consultant and

Sachin Bhat, Technology Architect, Energy, Utilities, Communications and Services Unit

In the last blog of this series, we have seen how IT partnership can be extended beyond the scope into key strategic areas like Thought Leadership, Knowledge Management, Business Value Articulation etc. which are sure to find place in any modern proposal for Thought Partnership.

Bring in 'All-round Expertise'

Larger organizations will have wide range of enhancements, upgrades, implementations and other strategically important initiatives going on in parallel. Taking all these parallel activities to a successful closure with clear ROI measurement will need huge amount of skilled resources and management time. In most cases traditionally, these initiatives are broken into smaller chunks of work and handed over to multiple vendors leading to unwarranted coordination issues, non-compliance issues, cost and time escalations. Although there are advantages of this typical model in terms of reduced dependency on a single vendor, availability of multiple sets of skilled labor and risk distribution, a larger partner can single handedly provide all these advantages using his expertise and prowess. Larger clients will get more and more inclined towards embracing the single partner model to reap the unprecedented benefits. Clients have to choose their partner very carefully by examining the abilities to offer a platter with the perfect mix of high end IT/Business consulting and wide range of rudimentary IT services. This is a huge upgrade for emerging IT services companies because they have a steep challenge of offering high end consulting services along with their regular services which they have to acquire in order to cling onto their clients' value chain as partners.


010413.jpg The Most Desirable Capabilities of a Partner

A partner is expected to provide all the basic services a vendor would provide including reliable delivery, acceptable quality, no cost or effort escalations, reporting, managing technology landscape etc. Any company capable of handling larger projects is expected to have majority of these capabilities if not all but, there are certain aspects which distinguish real partners from normal vendors and these are the aspects that a client scouts for in a prospective partner.

 Agility - Clients are looking for partners who can turn things around quickly with their experience, expertise and talent pool. Agility of a prospective partner can be a deciding factor other capabilities being uniform, because this character of an organization will have direct impact on the risks, cost escalations, scale requirement and success in cut throat competition. Agile partners can handhold clients in unforeseen crises using the vast pool of talented resources and technical strong hold. Choosing an agile partner who can adapt quickly to clients' working environment, get hold of the IT/Business systems and engage its abundant knowledge can provide a fillip to even an ailing client.  

 Talent Pool - Client requirements are generally spread across various domains and technologies and requirements for resources with expertise in any of the domains or technologies might arise at any point in time. Partner organizations have to be capable of handling such demands in a short span of time. Handling attrition in growing job market will be a huge challenge for any organization, more so for smaller organizations. Larger organizations can have a sizeable chunk of their talent pool on reserve providing the cushion that the client desires for. This will boost the client's confidence and provides the added advantage of reduced risk due to talent/knowledge erosion.

 Accountability - A partner who eloquently defines the accountability terms of his part of the job is seen as a reliable partner who is clear about the tasks that form the core of his engagement. Clients trust a partner who has got a lean management team with single point of contact (SPOC) irrespective of the scale and range of the engagement. An SPOC provides the client an easy touch point to the partner organization that can be approached for anything and everything including escalations. Multiple touch points lead to confusion and unclear communication channels.

 Proactive - Being proactive is one character that separates a partner from a vendor. Partner organization will have the same priority as a subsidiary or a department within the client's organization. Partner organizations are expected to have a sense of ownership, clear understanding of the client's pain points and suggest solutions and best practices proactively. Client sees the partner organization as a 'navigator' in its journey towards sustained success. It is common for any organization to loose direction due to unexpected changes in the dynamic business environment, newer strategies by competitors, entry of larger players and other unforeseen factors. A partner can guide the organization, provide business/technical consulting service, proactively suggest alternatives and help turn around the downward slide to steady state and then start picking up pace in the right direction.

1. http://www.imd.org/research/challenges/TC047-07.cfm
2. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/249685?uid=3738256&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101750120643
3. http://noggin.intel.com/content/measuring-the-business-value-of-information-technology-introduction
4. http://sagebrushgroup.com/archive/19940823_MeasuringStgValue_Paper.htm