BYOx, Mobility and the New IT

By Suaad Sait, Executive Vice President, Products & Markets, SolarWinds — April 06, 2014

We have entered a new era of IT in business. Over the past decade, technology’s rapid growth has caused a blending of the consumer tech and business worlds, so much that user behavior now often guides IT decisions—case in point, BYOx and mobility. 
 
The significant and often-debated impact of BYOx and mobility on businesses has spurred discussions on cost, productivity and security. However, missing from these conversations is how these major tech trends have affected IT professionals.
 
IT pros have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure companies are equipped to handle these new technologies and have, in effect, faced extreme pressure to adapt their job functions while ensuring usability and business success.
 
It’s time to give due attention to just how these unsung heroes of business have enabled companies to seamlessly integrate BYOx and mobility, and how we can start to better empower IT pros to continue meeting growing demands while integrating IT into overall business strategy.
 
Disruptive Tech
According to a recent SolarWinds survey, IT pros rank mobility second on the list of technology advancements that have most significantly impacted business within the last three to five years, and they place BYOx and mobility as the top technologies most disruptive to business.  
 
In terms of positive business impacts, mobility has completely improved the way we work. Gone are the days of 9 to 5 and tethered networks. The new IT environment — catalyzed by mobility— means we can work anywhere, anytime and has allowed business to drive collaboration, productivity and competitive advantage.
 
On the flipside, while employees and businesses have been reaping the benefits of this streamlined connectivity and communication, IT pros’ jobs have been turned upside down. Prior to the mobile device explosion, the IT’s role was fairly straightforward.
 
Now, IT admins must think of every employee has at least two devices connecting to company networks and systems, doubling concerns around security, overall network complexity and connection volume and density.
 
Not only that, but IT pros have been faced with the ensuing chaos of having to continually manage these connected devices. In effect, already-complex environments that IT departments have equipped to handle the new forms of multimedia (YouTube, streaming events like March Madness, the Olympics, etc.) are placed under even more pressure as employees access these network-straining channels on a variety of connected devices.
 
What if you went into work tomorrow and learned your workload had doubled? Not only that, but the increased workload brought with it a slew of unfamiliar concerns that needed to be addressed quickly and correctly in order for your business to continue functioning? It’s a lot of pressure to say the least—and it’s how many IT pros have been tasked with handling BYOx and mobility.
 
A Seat at the Table
IT pros have proven they are up to the task brought on by BYOx and mobility, allowing businesses to not only adapt to changing technology, but thrive as a result. However, these challenges are here to stay. When asked to cite the tech investments needed today in order to remain competitive in the coming years, IT pros ranked mobility as the second most important investment for businesses.
 
Over the next three to five years, mobility will only increase. We’re already seeing this now with the number of mobile technologies and apps accelerating at rapid pace. Given this expected growth of BYOx and mobility, IT pros will need to continue adapting and expanding their skillsets.
 
At the end of the day, the two dominating trends are Android and iOS, and IT pros must educate themselves on how apps are developed, integrated and connected into the physical networking layer and overall business environment.
 
An expanded skillset will better equip IT to have the necessary conversations with business executives about investments and strategy related to BYOx and mobility, which will be crucial as the lines between technology and business become increasingly blurred.  IT success is now synonymous with business success, as evidenced by BYOx and mobility, and no one should be better-equipped to provide guidance on these crucial technology functions than the IT pro. 

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