There are plenty of challenges involved in leading an IT organization in the era of Bring Your Own Everything (BYOE), but there are also plenty of opportunities.
That message became clear at the InformationWeek Conference in Las Vegas March 31 through April 1.
Executive presentations and panel session discussions here covered the full gamut of BYOE possibilities, including Bring Your Own Device, Bring Your Own Cloud, and even Bring Your Own Infrastructure.
During a panel session on April 1, IT leaders from Dish Network, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, and H.D. Smith shared their experiences in dealing with parts of the business that have "gone rogue" by circumventing IT when implementing products and services.
Rob Dravenstott, VP of IT application development and testing with Dish Network, shared the story of a "shadow IT" project that helped change the way IT operates at Dish Network. According to Dravenstott, a team in marketing used a corporate card to sign up for infrastructure-as-a-service, and stood up a server to take care of some marketing functions. All this was done without IT's knowledge.
Dravenstott noted that, fortunately, the shadow IT project was not used for a core part of the marketing infrastructure and did not have access to customer data because, eventually, it ended up getting hacked.
And therein lies the problem with shadow IT. "There are shortcuts taken, there's lack of understanding of security configurations, and how to implement something in a fashion that we as IT pros normally would do. Ultimately, we found out site was hacked, they took control of the box itself, defaced the home page." Initially, IT was brought in because the assumption was that the solution had been put in place by IT. Once the situation was clarified, "We ultimately contacted the provider to do forensics to understand more about what happened."
Dravenstott said the incident helped changed the way IT operates at Dish Network. "All of us deal with shadow IT," he said. "Anytime that pops up I always take it as a sign to ask 'what are we not providing for our business partners?,' 'what is the conversation that's missing,' or 'what are we not seeing in some shape or form.' [Now] we're ensuring that we get ahead of the curve in terms of [supporting] their needs, whether cloud-based or otherwise."
Dravenstott's team also needed to figure out how to better monitor such activity and ultimately decided to monitor any new DNS names. "We get alerted if there's a new sub-domain under Dish.com," said Dravenstott. "That's a trigger point for us to say, 'What is that new site somebody is standing up?' "
During the same panel discussion, Onyeke Nchege, VP/CIO Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, said his approach is to make sure IT is part of the business -- literally. He tells his IT people: "Go out, sling a case of Coke, get on a truck. While you're out doing that, understanding their business, you have the opportunity to talk about the business of IT. Now, our business partners do not go out and purchase something without calling us first."
To further encourage the business side to engage with IT, Nchege said he built an enterprise mobility advisory group. "[It's] all about educating our business partners about what works and what doesn't work within our landscape. So, when they go out and talk to a third-party provider, I want to be in a position where I'm not holding up a stop sign; but I'm holding up a caution sign in some cases."
For Mike Meadows, CTO of Eli-Lily, the widespread affinity for mobile devices among the company's sales force led to a mobile-first strategy that was rolled out worldwide.
During his March 31 presentation at the InformationWeek Conference, Meadows said the move was prompted by the introduction of tablets into the consumer marketplace.
"We saw replacing the laptop in sales interactions was very effective when using a tablet-based tool," said Meadows, who notes that the company's field sales reps often have only a brief period of time in which they can speak with physicians. Carrying around a laptop from office to office and losing valuable time waiting for boot-up was so impractical that many reps were leaving their laptops in their cars while on sales calls, according to Meadows.
Mobilizing the sales force on tablets wasn't as simple as buying devices and sending folks on their way. Eli Lily was running six different legacy CRM tools, was seeing high run rates for licensing, change and support costs, and needed a solution that could deliver to four business units across 90 countries.
In early 2010, Eli-Lily selected the Veeva CRM suite of applications, which includes mobility and reporting solutions. According to Meadows, it ended up taking two and a half years to outfit the company's worldwide sales force with new mobile capabilities. Eli-Lily now has 20,000 tablets deployed worldwide. The benefits of the new integrated system include:
- 25% lower cost versus legacy year-over-year
- 45% smaller staff footprint
- 3x quicker user performance versus the legacy system
- 85% user satisfaction scores
Finding ways to manage and maximize mobility and enable BYOD in the enterprise will continue to be a hot topic here this week. In fact, I'll be moderating a keynote panel discussion April 3 during Interop -- running concurrently with the InformationWeek Conference here in Las Vegas -- in which we'll be discussing customer experiences and delving into the BYOD strategies of major tech vendors.
— Susan Nunziata, , Director of Editorial, EnterpriseEfficiency.com