CIOs need to embrace BYO technology, social media: Gen-i Australia chief

Paul Wilson notes changing work IT environment in Australian CIO Summit speech

CIOs should welcome rather than fear employees' desire to bring their own device to work, Gen-i Australia's chief executive, Paul Wilson, has argued. Speaking at the CIO Summit 2011 in Sydney this week, Wilson said organisations had to do their best to come to terms with, then harness, rapid technological change. "The reality is for all of us is that it is hard to keep up and we need to make intelligent buying decisions that harnesses the supply chain, keep staff happy and delivers value to our customers," Wilson said. By way of illustration, Wilson cited Apple's claim that it took less than one day to reach sales of four million units of the vendor's iPad 2 tablet PC. "This transformation has been driven by Gen Y who have never known a world without the internet and expect to use the latest devices both at home and work," he said. Wilson acknowledged that CIOs were cautious about allowing personal devices in the workplace and said some 38 per cent of A/NZ CIOs were not engaging with BYO computing, mainly because of security concerns. "I challenge the issues around security as sometimes being lazy because those who are yelling loudest for bring your own device are Gen-Y, the people who have the IT skills," he said. "If they have been working in a certain way for the last 15 years why would they change their habits when they come and work for you?" The imperative for chief information officers, Wilson said, was to manage employee expectations or face the prospect of Gen-Y workers moving to organisations which did. "For your business, BYO technology needs to be about winning consumer hearts and market share," he said. Turning to the use of social media in the workplace, Wilson claimed that email was no longer the dominant form of electronic communication with sites such as Twitter were now the accepted way for businesses to interact with customers. "The fastest growing delivery method of communication is web, I think email is dying and the old ways of communicating as a business have changed," he said. According to Wilson, every 60 seconds there were 600 new Youtube videos created with many of these being created by enterprise businesses, not consumers. "Now is not the time for CIOs to 'wobble' or go slow with IT transformation," warned Wilson.

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