It looks like the BYOD term has been knocked off its perch (well for a short period at least) as the hottest term around – the big story is now “the Wireless LAN”.
In recent years every mobility or BYOD discussion resulted in a “to MDM or not MDM” debate with the consensus MDM was a must have technology (whether it delivered all of the outcomes originally promised is the discussion of a future blog). However as we fast forward through the start of 2013 the BYOD topic now starts and ends with a debate about “wireless networking effectiveness”. In the time before the “mobility wave” the wireless LAN most commonly experienced by the corporate end user was a home based network of convenience deployed with simplicity in mind but often lacking in reliability.
But how things have changed, what was a useful add-on to the physical RJ45 cable based corporate LAN environment has now become the talk of the CIO agenda and potentially the bane of many CIOs lives. That same wireless network used by guests, learned end users (who knew how to sneak the secret passwords) and the handful of approved laptop users is fast becoming the defacto connectivity environment for most end users. Where is the RJ45 port on a tablet computer, or modern Smartphone – does anyone care? Why embrace the inflexibility of laptop use tethered via the physical RJ45 network port when it becomes free and supremely flexible when connected via a high performing wireless network environment. The behaviour of many of us in both personal and professional arenas toward wireless connectivity has changed. In previous years, the IT aware individual within a household configured and used the home wireless network due to awareness of it at work – now the generation Y/Z digital natives not only own the home wireless network for social, education and entertainment ideals, but equally expect it to exist all the time everywhere.
Searching for a wireless hotspot is a teenage norm and second nature to all due to the ubiquitous use of smart phones, tablets, hand held games consoles and all fundamental to a digital native personal or social existence. But it doesn’t stop there, the behaviour outlined previously synonymous with a generation Y/Z persona now exists within us all, from the seven year old expecting the ipad to connect to download the latest update to “Temple Run”, to the corporate professional checking into a hotel on business uttering those now all too common words at reception “what is the key for the wireless network”. Do you ever remember the physical network deemed so fundamental to our work/home existence as the wireless network is today – it actually was, but in our minds it “wasn’t” and their lies the hypnotic magic of the wireless or WIFI network. This blog homes in on WIFI wireless networks but the ever reducing blur between WIFI and service provider 3G/4G networks forces us to summarise it all as “THE WIRELESS NETWORK” (not technically correct, but you get the picture).
The wireless network underpins and enables the new world order, one where the end user can have the best connected experience of “ME” but at the swipe of a hand can choose to be part of a worldwide “WE”. That only works if the nothing stops connectively and no rules exist for connection (i.e. “it’s not available or limited to times, zones, locations”). The wireless network is already the primary network and with “gigabit wireless” coming soon destined to be so woven into the fabric of our personal and professional existence we face a “world wide stall” at times of wireless network failure. Some would say it makes the task of maintaining and securing these wireless networks far more important than we think. Uuummm, I think I can feel another blog coming on.
Until next time
Pierre Hall, Computacenter’s director of Workplace & Software Solutions, discusses the results and implications of our recent Generation Z research.
As I’m writing this blog, our Press Department is swinging in to action to publicise some very intriguing results that have arisen from an independent survey we recently commissioned.
We have investigated one of the hottest topics in the news the ‘consumerisation of IT’ and BYOD, which confirms there has been a significant shift in IT thinking which is mainly end user led and driven by the sophistication and proliferation of consumer devices in the workplace
However, the research has thrown up an anomaly that suggests IT departments have potentially misjudged the attitudes of young workers towards new workplace technology trends and their demands for consumer devices at work.
Interestingly more than half of 16-24yr olds in the workplace – dubbed ‘Generation Z’ – state they don’t want an iPhone or tablet device in the office, and that they believe that it is more important for companies to stay in control of data than to embrace consumerisation.
Even more surprisingly given the growth of social media apps, 85 % of Generation Z employees surveyed actually prefer to communicate with their work colleagues face-to-face, with only 17 per cent voting for using instant messaging or social media networks.
Generation Z just want to be given the right tools to do the job; although they have grown up with instant messaging and high-tech gadgets, they don’t necessarily want to bring them to work.
IT departments need to avoid getting caught up in the hype surrounding consumerisation – it is just one of many enablers for today’s contemporary workplace, but organisations do need to address the growing flexible working requirements and the heightened performance expectations of the technology demanded by members of staff – young and old.
Experience shows that when corporate IT systems prevent workers from delivering their best – that is when they can start to take matters into their own hands. Connecting people (to people) and information, simply and efficiently, remains the core objective.
Having cast doubt on the current widespread assumption that Generation Z, who have grown up with smartphones and social networks, are driving the ‘device rebellion’ in Enterprises, you might want to read the full report… it makes for an interesting read.