The open and shut failure of BYOD. As a Narrative

Manager: “Hello IT Department, this is the self important manager from the Inner Tanzanian sales team”

Helldesk: ” Hello again, sir”

Self Important Manager: “My best sales person has told me that he can’t submit his forecast because his computer isn’t working”

Helldesk: “What was his name, I’ll check the case history and see what the problem was. Then we can see what we can do the help you”

Self Important Manager: “This had better be good”

Helldesk: “Ah yes. Here it is, a call from “Busy Sellingout” about his tablet. Yes, I can see that he contacted us to get some help but he has chosen the new BYOD option that your team requested we implement.”

Self Important Manager: “Ah yes. Brilliant idea it was too. Now we can all have whatever device makes us look good at the golf club on Wednesday morning. After all, we all need the right equipment to do the job of selling all the time.”

Helldesk: “Yes, right. Well, as you will certainly understand, we weren’t able to help Mr Sellingout for his HungBing 1925Ar DinglyBling because it’s not on the list of approved devices that we are able to support.”

Self Important Manager: “What do you mean “list of approved devices”, you are the IT Helpdesk, you are supposed to fix IT problems”

Helldesk: “There are thousands of possible devices, Selfimportant, I can call you that can’t I ?. Anyway, there are literally thousands of possible devices and we aren’t able to know how all of them work. So we selected five of the most common devices and we have them here to help people out. Mr Selling says that he bought it from “a geezer down the pub a couple of months back who was a good mate and all”

Self Important Manager: “So what. I need those forecasts today, the CEO is demanding the reports and if Busy’s tablet isn’t working he can’t submit them. I demand that you do something about this now”

Helldesk: “Mr Manager, there is nothing we can do. You agreed to the BYOD program that provides no support to staff using their own devices. Mr Sellingout agreed to provide his own support for the device he chose. He needs to fix it himself.”

Self Important Manager: ” But Busy doesn’t know anything about computer. He is a salesman not a computer guy”

Helldesk: “I’m sorry Mr Manager. There is nothing we can do”

Self Important Manager: “I demand that you do something”.

Helldesk: “Like what ? We don’t know anything about his device. If Mr Sellingout can get to another computer he can use that. ”

Self Important Manager: “I going to complain to the CEO about this”


About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • Brian Christopher Raaen

    love it

  • Ben Story

    Oh so true as always Greg. Unfortunately I’ve been fighting that battle even when BYOD wasn’t approved. Someone always gets to be the exception. BYOD is just going to make everyone the exception. Makes you wonder how much Apple and Google have been pumping into publishers to get BYOD in the press as the next miracle in technology.

  • Jared Westfall

    The BYOD battle is going on at my offices and there are always exceptions and when they come and ask for help I look down on them and say no. I have also deployed an enterprise wireless with a Guest option and employees constantly ask for guest access for their phones and tablets even though they have been told that its a no go.

    • Lindsay Hill

      “…employees constantly ask for guest access for their phones and tablets even though they have been told that its a no go”

      Serious question: Why? If you’ve got a guest network (as opposed to loosing them on the internal network), why not let them use it? Isn’t that part of the point of a guest network? I know this a policy thing, and all, but is there a sound reason for the policy? Or is it just “that’s the policy”

      For companies paying for 3G data on their employees phone bills, it can save some cash, by letting those devices use guest wireless.

      • Andrew Bell

        Totally off topic, but this is the first time I have seen “loosing” used correctly as a verb (as opposed to a misspelling of “losing”) on the entire Internet. Bravo!

    • Andrew Bell

      How do you stop them?

      • Jamie

        We have a very similar issue on our guest wireless, even though it is an open network, you need a single use key from the service desk, that lasts a set amount of time. So we are flooded with requests, obviously once mr Finance Director needs it to access his iPad, its not long before all the other directors want it, then their assistants, etc… We just say no and claim PCI compliance reasons, PCI Compliance gets most people running for the hills i find!!!

  • Will

    right, let’s secretly BYOD within the IT org and screw the IT ignorant

  • Simon Gardner

    With BYOD the whole idea of an “approved device” goes out of the window. If you have services that don’t rely on any particular device or OS or browser to work, then the situation described really shouldn’t happen – they use a PC at home or the library or a friend’s house until they get their device fixed.

    Apparently the average “power user” (the kind who’d be wanting to be part of a BYOD policy) owns between 5 and 7 internet connected devices. Chances are good they’ll have something else to hand that they can get their work done on instead.

  • jason simmons

    give him a VDI session on his BYOD and tell him to STFU

    • John

      Exactly. Does it have a VMware View client? Ok, use that now SOD off.

  • Pingback: Podcast Show 111 - BYOD isn't Technology Problem Its a Management Issue

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