April 23, 2012

Tom Mataconis
Tom Mataconis, Carlisle & Gallagher
Any bring-your-own-device initiative comes with new IT complications. Even for something as straightforward as an iPad, you're now dealing with three hardware versions and an infinite number of iOS versions that may or may not be compatible with the software at the bank, such as the bank's mortgage loan origination system (LOS). Below are three considerations you don't want to miss before implementing a BYOD initiative at your institution.

1. Ensure your team has the skills necessary for a BYOD implementation. Given the variety of devices and operating systems, programming languages and tools, surrounding software, instances of integration, and database and hardware platforms, it is highly unlikely that the necessary skills for BYOD will be found in an individual or two.

2. Calculate the start-up costs to build the BYOD certification capability and the fixed costs to operate it. Approving a new device entails certifying that the device hardware and software operates as planned with the bank's LOS and other systems. Certification of the device will require staff, hardware, software and other tools — sometimes labeled a "lab." Personnel costs, fixed hardware, software and other costs to operate the lab for BYOD deployments add up. Leveling these costs can be accomplished by spreading them across multiple BYOD implementations as well as business-as-usual work (during slow times), but this takes careful planning and coordination.

3. If sourcing the BYOD certification work externally, be sure to establish clear standards with the selected vendor. This approach could help mitigate fixed costs and unique skill considerations. However, an emphasis on setting standards will help meet business expectations and minimize certification surprises.

— Tom Mataconis, VP, Consulting, Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group

[Data from Forrester Research indicates that employees are willing to invest their own money in BYOD.]