This video uses a business scenario to illustrate a hybrid blend of purchased, leased, and employee-owned devices. The role of the network administrator is emphasized.
- [Instructor] Most complex decision don't have a solitary answer that applies equally well to everyone, and sourcing hardware is no exception. It is likely that the best answer for your company is a hybrid solution where some devices are purchased outright while others are leased. And you might even ask employees to offer up part of the technology themselves. You'll want to take a look at the benefits and costs of each option and apply them to each class of device.
I may sound like a broken record when I remind you to have this conversation with your IT strategist, someone who is experienced in what your industry is doing and how technology works today. I'm going to go back to the publishing company mentioned earlier. Let's walk through their needs together. There are executives and support staff that work in the office and need computers at their desks. The executives take their computers home with them at the end of the day, but the office staff generally try to leave work at work.
We have an art department that needs some more powerful workstations with specialized software that they may or may not be able to afford on their personal computers. Our outside salespeople and reporting staff complain that they don't know why they have to come into the office at all. They're always on the go. And some of them brag about how their personal laptop is better than the one the company provides anyway. Executives and sales staff are always on their phones, speaking or videoconferencing with vendors, clients, and such.
That communication is vital to the success of the company. Downtime of the salespeople's phones is as critical as downtime of the website. Let's call this list of devices our starting point and let's consider the individual needs of each class of device. Executives and support staff just need a computer that works reliably every day and someone they can call to quickly resolve issues when they happen. The only difference is executives need laptops as opposed to desktops.
Depending on the response time of tech support or lease options, this could go either way between purchasing and leasing. Use the cost comparison from the video on leasing to make this decision. The art department will have expensive software and has some of the highest security needs in the company. It's pretty important that we can define everything about those computers and how they're used. We would likely do well to own them. It sounds like our sales staff is asking for BYOD on their laptops.
But after consulting with the sales manager, we both became concerned about the complaining we would get if we asked them to provide their own tools, and the risk of giving employees an excuse to underperform if their computer was out for repair and we couldn't help. These laptops are highly mobile and we could assume that they won't always be treated gently, so we would do well to consider leasing them, making sure that the maintenance and replacement clauses of the lease work in our favor.
This will also help us outfit these teams with shiny new equipment more often. And who doesn't like shiny? Phones are another option that could lend itself to BYOD. I personally always preferred to use my own phone because it meant I didn't have to carry two every time I went on the road. Many executives feel the same way. But the importance of the sales staff phones illustrate a different need. Most wireless phone carriers have options that function a lot like a lease with equipment maintenance and replacement features.
It would be important to have a service that allows a phone to be replaced as quickly as possible in the event of breakage. For that reason, if it's not responsible to tell the staff what type of phone plan to buy, those mission critical devices should be leased by the company. And the other piece of designing a hybrid solution is making sure that the IT strategist is collaborating and sharing with the network administrator throughout.
Understand that when you start this process, the administrator's first instinct may be to start thinking out loud about all of the extra work involved in integrating multiple solutions. But their big picture perspective will help ensure a successful implementation. Give them adequate time to form a plan to implement the hybrid solution and to give input on conflicts that you hadn't considered. Do not leave them out of this process.
It's their experience and expertise in tying everything together that will be what makes this succeed.
- Including IT in strategy
- What does IT bring to strategy?
- Communicating the big picture
- Selecting and evaluating the effectiveness of training and development activities
- Choosing the right hardware, platforms, and applications
- Who owns the devices?
- Site planning
- External and internal connectivity