The part two on my bring-your-own-device mental model series is up on the DWF blog. This time I look at what the motivations for BYOD are for the digital workplace managers.
So before you, as a manager of the digital workplace in your organization, say let them eat BYOD, consider your own motivations. Are there better reasons? Maybe this is the end of IT and telecoms as we know it, but you’d better be sure before the rules are changed. Personally I find it disconcerting that organizations, in this time of abject revolution, might hang their hopes of enterprise mobility on the whims of their employees. BYOD is a useful tool to sate the geeks and as a test bed for novel technology, but if you want a truly mobile workforce with the information and tools they need, wherever they are: Pay up.
Digital Workplace Manager is a mythical beast that may or may not exist, but as this all gets munged together over the next few years I think the world will inexorably slide towards the idea of Digital Workplace as a concept rather than IT as we know it today. Consumer technology is now the driver as IT settles back to broadly deal with legacy and risk. And they used to bring us magic.
Over at DWF there’s a blog wot-I-wrote about Bring-Your-Own-Device with the viewpoint of employee’s motivation to do so: “What’s my motivation? A mental model for BYOD”
I’ve been meaning to start using mental models in the DW space for a while now, and the opportunity presented itself. The digital workplace world is rather wrapped up, well, the IT-of-it-all. Everything seems to be reduced to matters of security, cost or risk, so it’s a nice kung-fu move to the collective head to start thinking in terms of individual’s desires. Mother’s milk to the web and user experience crowd, hopefully refreshingly crisp a level up. I once said to a senior IT guy when discussing this sort of thing: “I think you’re missing the small picture.”
I also reflect on the fact that bring-your-own-tech ain’t new:
“Firstly this isn’t a new practice. There have always been those who would prefer a certain type of pen, or a certain notebook rather than taking what was available in the stationery cupboard. In 1996, I used to bring in headphones so I could listen to CDs using my CD-ROM drive. In 1998 I used to get a lift into the office from a friend-of-a-friend. I looked in the back seat and there was a huge tower PC in the back seat. My ride was bringing his personal computer into where he worked to crunch numbers in a spreadsheet because his work computer couldn’t cope.”
Big ups to Al, wherever he ended up (I hope it wasn’t Aztec West), and I hope his PC now copes.
On totally non-intranet and digital workplace matters I also refreshed my photo site and instituted another blog for me to ignore over at Tubbfoto. Please feel free to come in and browse. No cost to look.
“The softminded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea. The softminded man always wants to freeze the moment and hold life in the gripping yoke of sameness.”
There follows a rolling up of sleeves. If I’m going to do this properly there are a few things that must be made straight, to myself. So perversely I shall write the colophon, and let us smirk at the derivation of finishing touch when this is the beginning and I have already achieved so little.
I like to write using Scrivener. This is already a lie as I hate to write. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the fluidity of it when it comes, but the gut wrenching self reflexive post-writing doubt that you’ve put your name against something so poor? No one likes that.
But I do love Scrivener and I have used it for scripts, research papers and blog type writing, and once you get past the separation of creation and output, the flexibility of the non-linear is enchanting. So I have set up a Scrivener project called Blogposts.scriv and I have some folders: Ideas; archive and dead. The current post gets written in the main part of the project using MultiMarkdown, so it is easy to compile it into HTML from there.
Then, to continue the theme of preventing writing using distracting techniques I have an AppleScript on a watched folder that puts the HTML into the clipboard and then opens a new post in WordPress ready to go. Paste in the HTML and it can be fettled in WordPress from then on in.
I like to take photos. It came suddenly and I was overwhelmed about how clean and simple it felt. I was rubbish for a few months and then, and I am positive about this, something changed in my brain and I saw things in different ways. I blogged for Londonist about it. That success fed back into my learning and it moved me onwards. I want to have the same fluidity of expression when writing. Note I said, “when writing” and not “as a writer”. I have as little inclination to become a writer as I do a photographer, but I desperately want to be able to write well, like I want to be able to take a good photograph. As instructions manuals I have:
Ah. Now we come to it. I, like you, spend much of my paid day writing already. I sometimes enjoy it, but they aren’t really my words, and I remain as professionally interested in my topic as ever (the water’s cold, but lovely once you’re in), but in terms of topics it is well represented already by people who are doing a great job of enjoying the cold water, but in terms of topics they are not ones that I feel my fingers will begin to fly because for me they are so well trodden. I am determined that if I have something to share I can do it here, but it won’t be the blog’s purpose.
So, what’s got my attention right now:
- The views expressed by Jaron Lanier that we may have made a terrible mistake in letting the web give it all away for free and the power flowing away to the owners of the networks.
- The ideas rendered down by Adam Curtis in “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace” surrounding cybernetics, self forming networks and that many of the principles that have been clutched to chests in the world of social media may not be based in reality.
- The attention economy and the amount of our time we will need to spend prodding social networks to survive
- I am entertained (and so follows the name of the blog) when people and organisations think that people will behave like robots. I am appalled when repeatedly people actually do.
- I am interested in the large scale social changes that are going on within organisations and what that means for management, for individuals and for society at large.
- I am interested in the trade-offs that people are willing to make, are able to to make, to balance their work with their lives.
- I want to know how tasks move through organisations and why task systems never work;
- and I am fascinated about what tools and practices organisations retain out of habit and what will be the implications of the fallout when people finally notice.
I have means, motive and opportunity. Apparently. Talent and time? We’ll see eh?
Gosh a blog, an actual blog.
I have a several other incarnations on the web, most of them photographic as well as the standard twitteryness – you can find them on my About.me page or on the links down the side.
I’m an intranet and digital workplace consultant and I have many colleagues doing valiant work tweeting what’s what in that world, but I find myself stuck for words in the medium. 160 characters minus @s and #s is, let’s face it, somewhat reductive, and I wanted somewhere to expand on things in a more expansive style. It might be useful, it will probably be waffle, but I’d like pen on paper to feel as free and easy as taking photos feels to me, and to do that I must do.
About the name: Abodat (or more authentically “AAA-BOOO-DAAAAT”) is what my oldest son used to say as he pretended to be a robot – finding the idea hilarious and implicitly malevolent at the same time. It struck me that in the world of work we like to pretend to be robots, and in the business of bringing technology to others, particularly within organisations we like to pretend that others are robots. I think we find it easy to fail to see the big picture of that as we scurry to implement the latest stuff.