Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Consumerization of Information Technology

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There is a lot of internet “traffic” (blogs in particular) about the ending of the desktop pc-era and the emergence of the mobile-era. While I am not quite sure where I stand on that, I do know one thing: mobile devices or smart phones are impacting our lives, and by extension, our globe, in ways never imagined! As it relates to IT, there are two trends happening that are impacting service desks interactions with personal mobile devices like iPads, iPhones, tablets, etc.

Today I wanted to highlight the first trend: consumerization of IT.

In the past, we used to go to IT and request the latest and greatest devices; now we’re bringing our own devices to IT requesting support. More and more IT departments are seeing their end-users bringing personal devices into the office and saying, “I need you to take care of these for me: load stuff, access to a secure WIFI, Outlook access, etc.”

This produces a myriad of challenges, pitfalls, questions and trails that have never been blazed before. How do you service “unauthorized” devices? For that matter, what is considered an unauthorized device? How do you manage someone else’s property and have little or no control over the plan or device they use? Which management levels should have access or support? These are all questions companies are dealing with as technology becomes more accessible, and more personal.

It seems to me the service desk’s key to surviving this personal devices barrage is to capture or track the time spent supporting personal devices. Unfortunately many of our readers don’t have the ability to track mobile devices. Many categorize the incident or service request as  “other” and list it as “other devices” in their CMDB, making it difficult to track metrics.

IT needs to be able to have metrics showing how many personal devices contain company applications and the time spent supporting those unofficial items. Using those metrics, companies would enable their IT to use their time wisely. They can also create necessary protocols concerning the use of company information and access on personal devices so IT can prioritize their time and be aware of what is allowed on non-supported devices.

So, how does IT deal with that? How do you survive the week with the barrage of personal devices and questions? How are you managing them at your service Desk? I’d love to get your feedback.

Next week, I’ll discuss how to leverage the power of mobile devices with reporting and instant access to your data.