Dealing with the

The consumerization of IT has technology leaders divided at this week’s LacCarling conference in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

The Bring-Your-Own-Technology movement that has employees looking to bringtheir tablets and smart phones into the enterprise should be referred to as“the tyranny of consumerization,” according to Dave Codack, vice-president ofemployee technology and network services for TD Bank Group. But despite theheadaches these external forces are bringing to IT shops, he said, CIOs willneed to embrace the concept.

“I think we’re forced to look at return on the individual and what we can do todrive change there, without having to always drive a network positive value,”Codack said.

“Happy employees drive happy endpoints,” he added.

Codack admitted, however, that TD is dedicating a lot of time and energy intohow to best enable its employees to use business and work apps on the samedevice.

Dino Miele, CIO of the District School Board of Niagara, said his organizationhas embraced the idea of letting students take advantage of their own deviceswithin reason. In the classroom, he said, this can allow for “anytime learning”as students can tap experts from the Royal Ontario Museum or the OntarioScience Centre.

But for Louis Shallal, CIO at the Regional Municipality of York, some words ofcaution should be mixed in to all the excitement.

“I would caution at jumping into all these new gadgets,” he said. “I have 2,000employees and I’m always bombarded making sure that I can provide them with allthese new gadgets.”

“The question always has to come back to ‘where is the business value for the enterprise,’”Shallal added. “Where are these relentless opportunities for innovation thatour organization needs? It’s not necessarily about what the gadget is and whatit can do.”

He added that innovation is not necessarily about new ideas or revolutionaryconcepts and that CIOs always need to bring their decisions back to the conceptof service delivery improvement.

But for many CIOs, dedicating the necessary funds to innovation is easier saidthan done.

At TD Bank, Codack said, 78 per cent of all technology spending goes toward“keeping the lights on.” That leaves only 22 per cent working toward drivingchange.

Codack said the bank is trying to drive the spend down to 72 per cent bycentrally managing every Tier 1 IT project (over $50 million) with a team ofsenior executives reviewing the projects each month.

For Shallal, the Region of York has recently slashed the percentage of its 82IT staff members dedicated to “keeping the lights on” from 80 per cent to 67per cent.

“Our goal is to get that to 50/50,” he added.

In addition to BYOT and IT budgets, the rise of mobility and social media alsotook centre stage on the conference’s first day.

Codack said TD has been investigating apps that cull information from popularsocial networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to help gainbetter analytics on its customers. For example, a bank that learns a customerhas changed jobs through a LinkedIn status update could offer the client anewly applicable service.

This type of analytics, he said, can also help government organizations lookingto better market their services to small business start-ups.
The IT World Canada-produced Lac Carling event runs until Tuesday.

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