Telstra has commenced trials of ‘BYO computing’ within several of its divisions, allowing access to corporate applications from staff-owned mobile computing devices brought into the workplace.
Telstra chief information officer Patrick Eltridge told iTnews the company was conducting several limited trials of BYO devices among an undisclosed number of call centre and sales staff, consultants, and some third-party suppliers.
“We are very interested (in BYO Computing) for a variety of technology possibilities,” Eltridge said.
While not an end in itself, BYO devices would allow the company to unlock benefits Eltridge considers crucial to Telstra’s technological evolution.
The use of staff devices is being trialled in tandem with trials of desktop virtualisation.
“The proof of concept that will enable BYO devices will also enable faster and more secure access to the organisation remotely and better integration of [Apple] iPhones and iPads,” Eltridge said.
Better information security and simplification of existing business applications would also need to ensue, he said.
“In some cases, corporate applications on smaller devices will potentially have a new user interface.”
Eltridge said the program could “allow Telstra to progressively retire old fat client desktops through virtualisation.”
Eltridge would not disclose which tools are being trialled to deliver the new flexible, virtualised infrastructure. But he did hint that at the conclusion of the trials, Telstra is likely to consolidate some of its desktop software vendors.
“We need to look at the economies of using multiple tools,” he said. “The more standardisation, the more cost effective it will be. There may be a trade-off to be made.”
Eltridge said Telstra hoped the trial would prove a case for cost-savings, but also a more secure and better-managed IT environment.
Telstra joins Suncorp, EMC, Cisco, Jetstar and legal firm Norton Rose and many other Australian firms that have chosen to proactively adapt IT infrastructure to employee demands for better and more access to internal networks and productivity tools.
Today, iTnews discusses the trend in a wide-ranging analysis, including interviews with:
- Jetstar CIO Stephen Tame
- Telstra CIO Patrick Eltridge
- Norton Rose Information Systems director Phil Scorgie
- KPMG director of innovation Bruce McCabe
- Gartner analysts Laurence Orans and Rob McMillan
- Ovum analyst Graham Titterington