The journey towards a
democratized IT department
There’s a new reality in town, and it’s one where the classic, centralized, command and control model of IT management is no longer one-size-fits-all. The intersection of cloud, mobile and the Democratization of IT is completely reshaping organizations, which makes now the time to rethink what data means to your business and plan accordingly.
So what does the journey from rethinking to reworking look like? It isn’t a clear-cut process, and no single organization has yet to get it completely right. Rethinking involves building a business case that makes sense for your organization. It involves understanding your people and core needs, then looking at how both can best be managed. And it involves substantial planning around policy setting.
The first step: Taking a hard look at yourself.
The first step towards setting the right policy is identifying what type of business you are. Are you a “Data Controlled” company, where data is a critical element of the operation and there is an extremely low tolerance for mismanaging that data? Or are you a “Data Agile” organization, where data is more open and therefore easier to migrate towards more open IT models and embrace the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend?
Whether you’re part of a Data Controlled or Data Agile organization, you can’t afford to idle in the “zone of risk,” where there’s a loss of control, escalating security concerns and a denial of the changing world around them. You need to rethink a new model—and this rethink may surface several innovative ways to handle the Democratization of IT.
It’s time to take action.
Policy is a challenging area as the democratization of IT brings a whole new range of stakeholders to the party. If policy modifications reflect a cultural change in the way people utilize, consume and employ their IT assets, then IT enforces policy rather than defines it. Shifts in policy can represent an opportunity to learn, develop and deploy new rules across the entire business with an outcome that’s tailored to the needs of the organization.
The key to all this, of course, is action. The “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend has recently positively impacted deployments in the education sector. Take Settle College, for example, a specialist technology school in Yorkshire, England, where administrators decided not to sit back and watch an increasing number of mobile devices enter the school. Instead they transformed that proliferation of devices into an opportunity to support anywhere, anytime learning.
Naturally, there were concerns of students accessing inappropriate material on the Internet and the potential for viruses and malware being brought into the network. But by addressing the challenges that come with increased mobility, Settle College implemented a new policy to address security concerns that changed the BYOD threat into an enabler for students.
Now Sixth Form students can access college systems in classrooms around campus, enhancing teaching and learning. Staff can ask students to “Google” answers and immediately share their findings. And students can easily access virtual learning environments, email or files from any device.
By not idling in the zone of risk and, rather, creating policy that embraced BYOD, Settle College has taken the risk out of the organization while proactively shaping a positive environment for students—making the journey towards a democratized IT Department a very worthwhile endeavor.