I’d been looking forwards to John Matthews, F5’s VP of IT and CIO, presenting. For his insight? Because, in his role, he is the F5er that is most like a customer and his content is therefore likely to be very relevant? Yes to both of these.
But mostly because he’s funny.
I won’t try and capture his style because it won’t work written down and I wouldn’t do it justice, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that he did, as usual, have them rolling in the aisles.
John was here to tell people why all the stuff CIOs hear from vendors scares him to death. Competition means moving really fast, and that means that IT can be on the edge. BYOD is a perfect example; it is changing all the time. He hears about 3.3bn smartphones by 2017. People with more than one personal device that they use at work. Each one of these is a challenge.
So how do we make BYOD work? Most of the apps that exist today are not about business; many of them are the product of a 13 year old’s imagination – weather apps, games, maps of the London Underground. The reality is that lots of apps – business or personal - have lots of personal data on them. John doesn’t want to back up our music or our pictures, but he has to be concerned about whether company policies are robust enough to protect our data and adhere to the law.
The solution – BYOD 2.0 – is dividing the personal and professional aspects of a smart device and, from the corporate IT perspective, worrying only about the apps and data on the professional segment.