Predictions 2012: Buzzwords and BYOD

Today’s transcription from our editorial round table was supposed to be about buzzwords to watch in 2012. Instead, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon hijacked the proceedings. User strike or IT department backlash?

Dave Webb, Editor, ComputerWorld Canada: Somebody mentioned Buzz. Speaking of buzz, what buzzwords are actually going to have the legs to make it through 2012? The one that I’m hearing all the time now is Big Data. What other buzzwords are out there?

Harmeet Singh, Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News: BYOD.

Paolo DelNibletto, Editor, Computer Dealer News: BYOD.

James Speedy, Staff Writer, ComputerWorld Canada: BYOD. It’s here for at least another year.

Del Nibletto: I have a prediction on BYOD. Anybody want to hear it?

Webb: What’s that?

Del Nibletto: BYOD users strike. Word gets out that businesses are pushing for BYOD because of cost savings and users no longer find it cool to fork over their own money to benefit the employers. Employers unite to offer a compromise of paying for model A or model B, which will address security concerns. Since neither are an Apple product, the users will rebel and demand premium expenditures on new products and device hardware of their own choosing. At the end of 2012, the BYOD strike does not get resolved. I got this idea from talking to (Hewlett-Packard Canada vice-president and general manager of the persona systems group) Leyland Brown. We talked about this for a while, and she feels very strongly that she doesn’t believe people will be forking out their own cash to benefit their employer.

Webb: I see conflict on that front too, but I see it coming from a different place. I see a backlash from IT, saying, “We don’t want to manage a dozen different platforms.”

Speedy: It makes their workload so much bigger.

Del Nibletto: And she was even saying it’s going to happen, a backlash, in January, because everyone will have some new device for Christmas or whatever holiday they’re celebrating, and come in and saying, “Well, you guys gotta deal with this now.” And we talked about the incident that happened in Europe with Cisco where 1,200 users decided they were going to choose their own platform …

Speedy: And they went Mac. They got MacBook Pros and then set up their own wiki (for user support).

Shane Schick, Editor-in-chief: New Year’s could be really crappy for IT managers.

Webb: IBM’s approach is to have a list of approved devices and platforms, so you can bring whatever you want as long as it’s on this list.

Jeff Jedras, Assistant Editor, Computer Dealre New: I think the approach that a lot of companies are taking isn’t that you have to buy your own device necessarily. For example, at Citrix, they give each person a budget.
You can spend, every few years, up to X on a device of your choice and we’ll pay for it.

Speedy: But that doesn’t handle the IT side. That just handles the spending-the-money side.

Jedras: The othe half of that is the IT management side. They have to put the processes in place. There are lots of vendors, like Citrix, who would be happy to help you manage that side and have solutions and software that they’re ready to sell you … One easy way to do that is desktop virtualization. The same from VMware, where what the endpoint is becomes less relevant as long as it meets certain standards. They’re setting out a virtual desktop that resides on the data centre.

Nestor Arellano, Senior Writer, IT Business: Maybe Citrix can afford that, but not all businesses have the money to work out something for their employees.

Jedras: I am provided a desktop here and lots of people are getting new laptops. Businesses have a budget to refresh hardware. It’s just a question of, is it bought in bulk by IT and then provisioned, or do you give the buying power decision to the end user?

Arellano: I think a lot of businesses will decide that, this is what we have, work with it.

Webb: You mentioned refreshing hardware. Does BYOD spell the end of the traditional hardware refresh cycle?

Del Nibletto: No. In fact, I was in a briefing this last week with Microsoft and Dell and Intel and they believe it’s going to have a big impact in 2012. They don’t think that’s going to be a factor in a regression of that strategy.

Webb: It just seems to me that it’s almost like continuous refresh when people are buying their own stuff as opposed to that traditional four-year window.

Schick: You were talking about jargon. I think someone will still try to add on to the whole “as-a-service” thing.

Webb: Refresh-as-a-service?

Del Nibletto: Service-as-a-service?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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