Tag Archives: guest blog

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to Work ‘ A Good Business Strategy?

As the world gets increasingly mobile new challenges are arising both for the marketing department, as well as throughout a business enterprise. 

Today, we’re pleased to feature a guest post that explores the big BYOD question that is currently challenging employers. (If you’d like to submit a guest post to our blog, email Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc [at] iirusa.com)

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

The policy of Bring Your Own Device or BYOD has become a pressing issue on businesses and enterprises adopting mobile solutions for their operations; it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.

Adopting a BYOD work policy definitely has its merits. In an increasingly post-PC era people are becoming more and more reliant on their smartphones and tablets for their daily tasks and activities ‘ work included. Allowing people to connect to the company network and do their jobs on their own devices introduces more channels for employees to be productive.

For companies with people doing fieldwork, it can be a means for a truly mobile and connected workforce without the need to spend for additional (expensive) hardware. On the other hand, BYOD can also lead to more distractions and the diversion of a worker’s attention away from doing the job at hand. There is, of course, the very real risk of these devices becoming tools to spread viruses, malware, or open security breaches and data theft on the company network.

So what is the attitude of companies towards BYOD these days?

According to the second annual Consumerization IT survey from InformationWeek Fifty-six percent of companies now consider themselves proactive or accepting of consumer technology. Here is an infographic that neatly summarizes their report:

Source: http://visual.ly/byod-enterprise

It’s a strategic solution moving at a rapid pace. Within the enterprise, employees now enjoy using their own personal devices in offices and executives look at how efficient the movement is with more productivity gains by the process. More companies are now encouraging employees to use their own devices for work-related tasks on a completely voluntary basis. This is shifting the enterprise management process that is traditionally based on IT developing devices and managing what devices workers use. Accordingly, major changes are necessary to prepare company IT departments and enterprise networks to support the arrival of BYOD, especially in enhancing the privacy and security of data.

However, this may pose as a challenge for tech support teams as they have to become more responsive and capable of handling a diverse range of mobile devices and operating systems that will surely be used on a BYOD model.

BYOD challenges aside, companies are still willing to go with the trend. It’s a very simple business strategy that delivers operational benefits. BYOD is for the benefit of employees and businesses alike. With its rampant growth, it’s set to increase its value accordingly.

With the consumerization of enterprise mobility, employees are now bringing their own devices to access company resources. It’s an inevitable revolution happening right now. Statistics reliably show how BYOD in enterprise is an effective strategy that can be overcome with the rapid development of technology we have today.

About The Author
Jimmy Wentz is a budding freelance tech writer, gadget and gaming enthusiast, and social media junkie. He writes regularly about O2 and the latest news in the tech, gaming, and the social media world.
Connect with Jimmy on Google+ and Twitter.

One Mobile Year: Three months of good and bad

Kit Hughes, Managing Director and Head of Strategy for strategic branding studio Look-Listen, recently spoke at The Mobile Marketing Conference. He is living one year not using a personal computer and blogging about it at http://onemobileyear.com. The following is his summary of the first three months of the project. Read the original post here.

It’s been a mixed bag.
As I talked/ranted/joked during my session at The Mobile Marketing conference yesterday, the past three months have been enlightening. If you were in the audience, you heard me say things like:

  • I’m a mess.
  • Skype sucks.
  • Why am I doing this? Because I’m a masochist.
  • Amazon is a disappointment.
  • A year ago I would have gone to battle for Google Docs but now I won’t give it the time of day.
  • Running a business on an iPad is painful.
  • I spend more money with Zappos because of their app.

For most of you that were not there, let me give some dimension to these comments.

I’m a mess
Well, I am. In the past three months, I’ve been trying to run a fully humming design studio and launch another business using only an iPad and iPhone. This involves more than just email; it involves managing payroll, refining an operating budget, collaborating with remote teams, invoicing, drafting agreements, etc. (See ‘The Net Net’ below for more details)

Skype sucks
Seriously, it does. I used to rely on Skype for hours and hours of seamless communication when I was on a laptop, sometimes spending 4 hours a day on it. I still spend a lot of time on it but it’s an unreliable and unintuitive step-child to the version I used on my laptop. Bad Skype.

Why am I doing this? Because I’m a masochist
This was a joke, which was not received well at 9am. Nick Sheth (from Gap) didn’t warm up the audience enough when he spoke. However, by the time Catherine Roe (from Google) spoke, the audience was putty! You’re welcome Catherine.

Amazon is a disappointment
I hold Amazon to a very high standard and admire the leadership of Jeff Bezos and team for blazing new ground in internet retailing and e-readers. However, Amazon has shown slow leadership in mobile web. I hear chatter about how Amazon is making the site more tablet friendly but it’s a fail: they need an innovative, dedicated tablet site.

A year ago I would have gone to battle for Google Docs’
It’s a shame that the mobile version of Google Docs is as buggy and feature poor as it is. Seriously, there is no reason it can’t be better. They have coded their own operating system after all. Maybe they neglect it because they want people to by an Android device and use Google Docs on that? I’d like to think they’re better than that.

Running a business on an iPad is painful
Apple’s fault? Nope. In fact, I draft agreements in Pages and create proposals in Keynote very easily and iCloud syncs them with both devices. The pain is from the B2B software providers. Even a company I once loved, Freshbooks, disappoints. I plan on pontificating pretty hard on this area in the coming month.

I spend more money with Zappos because of their app
It’s true. They have an elegant app that lets me dig into the purchase process. They’ve given me a very easy way to browse and buy products on my iPhone and iPad, so that’s just what I do.

The Net Net
It’s unfair for me to leave my first three months with sound bites and minimal commentary. I said I was a masochist, not reckless (any funnier?) Seriously though, I am going to spend time over the next several days outlining the experience of the past three months, writing posts around key topics in work and life. Then, I’ll start to review apps and accessories I come in contact with. This will help give more context to the insights and opportunities.

Now, for the big finish: I’ve spent no more than 10 hours on a desktop in the past three months. 10 hours would have been a normal day for me in front of a laptop before this mobile year.

Picking a Mobile Partner is like Playing Poker

As The Mobile Marketing Conference kicks off this week, we’ll be featuring thoughts from some of our speakers, partners and attendees. This post is by Carrie Chitsey, CEO, 3Seventy.

Over the last four years of being in the mobile business, I’ve seen a lot of mobile companies come and go. Someone every day says, ‘Have you heard of ‘XYZ Company”? There is a ton of money being invested in mobile technology and it’s very hard for a brand to know ‘who to go to the dance with’. Being an avid poker player I’ve come to realize that ‘picking a mobile partner is like playing poker’.

So I started to put myself in the shoes of our clients, prospects and folks we talk to on a daily basis. Several things have become very clear about brands that are looking to get into mobile:
1. They are in ‘research’ mode and know what they’ve read or seen from competitors.
2. Someone has sold them or ‘tried’ on whatever silohed solution they are selling.
3. A mobile strategy is rare and brand managers are usually tasked with a ‘mobile campaign’.
4. The database they are trying to build is really an afterthought and not a primary focus.
5. And if they’ve tried mobile before, they now know what they want this time, have goals and want a good partner, not just a technology.

We love the second time folks; they know a good mobile partner when they see one. These are great marriages.
So how does mobile strategy remind me of poker? It’s easy.

‘ Picking your table is key, if you end up or stay too long at a bad table, you lose all your money. Same is true with mobile, if you pick a bad partner, not only will you be unsuccessful, it leaves a bad taste.

‘ It’s ok to switch tables if you know you sat down to a bad table. If you aren’t seeing performance, technology is not what it cracked up to be and you aren’t getting mobile strategy and results’.. move, time is of the essence in mobile you can’t wait 12 months to get a good mobile partner.

‘ The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy that wins the most money. Mobile is test and learn, not everything you do is going to be a huge success. Test, learn and repeat the good stuff. You need to build a foundation for success, anyone can win one jackpot but try hitting multiple.

‘ Don’t play games you don’t understand even if you see others winning by luck. There will always be something new and shiny in mobile. Innovation is good, but you have to learn the basics first. Going from not doing anything mobile to moving straight to an iPhone or Augmented Reality application is not a good move.

‘ Learn by playing the game, reading and theory are great but nothing replaces actual experience. Get going, time is now, pick a great mobile partner and throw in some chips, you don’t have to go ‘all-in’.

Smartphones: A Perfect Way to Reach Stranded Travelers

IHG’s Holiday Inn Express iPhone App

Mobile is a booming channel for travel companies. For my company, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), annual gross mobile booking revenue has risen from $2.5 million in 2009 to over $130 million in 2011. Most importantly, it is letting travel companies reach a new segment of customers: same-day bookers, those that are buying transportation and travel lodging the same day that they are going to use it.

Same day bookings account for nearly 65% of the bookings that are made on the InterContinental Hotels Group mobile apps and mobile websites and other travel companies are reporting similar numbers through their mobile products. In contrast, same-day customers only account for a small percentage of bookings made on desktop websites. A large portion of these same-day customers are likely stranded travelers. Travel companies can now reach these stranded travelers through their smartphones using mobile apps and mobile websites in order to turn the anxiety of being stranded in an unfamiliar location into a positive experience, resulting in revenue and great impression of the travel company.

IHG has developed some best practices for how we approach crafting apps and mobile websites that willl meet the needs of stranded travelers:

  •           Focus on 2 to 3 Core Tasks

    Smartphones dont have the large amounts of screenspace that a desktop computer has, travel companies must decide on the 2 to 3 most important tasks for the stranded traveler and focus on delivering those.

  • Empathize With the Stranded Traveler
    The best way to decide what those 2 to 3 tasks are is to walk in the shoes of a stranded traveler. On your next trip (if you’re brave enough), wait until you land at the airport to make a hotel reservation. What information do you need to make the booking and what are the pain points?

  • Make the Purchase Path FAST and EASY
    Travelers will have their hands full of luggage and tired children. They will be rushing to find a hotel room before the last shuttle leaves the airport. They may be in foreign territory with spotty or expensive data connectivity. The purchase process must be highly streamlined or customers will abandon the purchase. IHG’s mobile apps open directly to a map of nearby hotels with prices for that night.
  • Don’t Forget the Post-Purchase Experience
    The strength of the smartphone is it goes with the traveler once the booking is made. How can it assist in not only booking, but every aspect of the travel experience. For example, provide real-time driving directions from the user’s current location to the hotel.

The opportunities for travel companies to reach stranded travelers is growing fast and the risk of frustrating an already frustrated user is high, but if travel companies start with these basic guidelines to drive their mobile apps and websites then the end result should be positive travel experiences for their customers.

Darin Wonn is Product Manager for Mobile Apps at InterContinental Hotels Group. Follow him on twitter @darinwonn.

To hear more about IHG’s work in the mobile marketing space, join us this March at The Mobile Marketing Conference. Darin will be speaking on The Mobile Traveler on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012. Download the brochure here to learn more.