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Slowing Down for Strategy Speeds Up the Move to Mobile

By Gary Osborne, Senior Solutions Product Manager – End User Computing

Today’s workers are more reliant on—and demanding of—mobility than ever before. They need personalized desktops that follow them from work to home. They need to connect from multiple devices through rich application interfaces. The challenge for IT organizations is that bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives are often wrapped in, and encumbered by, tactical issues—perpetually pushing strategic discussion to the back burner.

Working hard, but standing still

By focusing on a tactical approach, many IT organizations find themselves on the BYOD treadmill—they get a lot of exercise but never really get anywhere!  Developing an overarching strategy before setting out on the journey provides much needed guidance and positioning along the way. This isn’t a step-by-step plan, but rather a clear vision of the business challenges being addressed and the value being delivered back to the organization. This vision, including direction, a clear definition of phased success, and defined checkpoints along the way, should be articulated and understood throughout the organization.

Getting your organization to buy into the importance of an overarching strategy can be a tough sell, especially if near-term goals are looming. But it will pay off many times over. According to a recent study by IBM, “Those IT organizations that treat mobile as both a high priority and a strategic issue are much more likely to experience the benefits that mobile can bring to an organization. The July report, Putting Mobile First: Best Practices of Mobile Technology Leaders, reveals a strong correlation between mobile success and establishing a strategic mobile vision, along with external help to implement it.

Take the time – but not too much

Those IT organizations that achieve measurable success with their VDI and BYOD initiatives found the right balance between too little time developing a sound strategy and the all-too-common “analysis paralysis” of taking too much time. we  We have worked with customers that have found that balance in part by keeping a clear focus on the business value that BYOD solutions can provide and an eye toward what they need to achieve and deliver to the business to declare success.

Jumping straight to the tactical activities and placing orders for “guestimated” infrastructure without knowing the strategy that will support it are two of the most common pitfalls I see lead to failed or stalled BYOD initiatives. By focusing on the value mobility can deliver to the business rather than get bogged down in the technical details, a strategic exercise can be completed swiftly and deliberately, meeting the speed of change in today’s mobility.


Gary Osborne is an IT industry veteran and is part of the VMWare Global Professional Services engineering team responsible for the End User Computing Services Portfolio.  Prior to his current role, he provided field leadership for the VMware End User Computing Professional Services practice for the Americas.

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