The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) phenomenon - one of the effects of the so-called "consumerization" - is one of the themes that have engaged senior management for the past several years, but has only recently attracted everybody's interest. Has your company already come up with a plan for its employees' BYOD? If so, is it working properly in your opinion?
What are currently the data points associated with the BYOD phenomenon? A few months ago, the Slovak software house ESET was able to complete a detailed research. In fact, it is expected that more than 80% of corporate employees will be using a personal device for work, such as laptops (51%), smartphone (38%) or tablet (15%)!
Perhaps even more interesting is what a top executive of a large French IT Services Company told me, in light of a survey they had recently conducted in the U.S. market: the adoption of BYOD in Corporate America is about to grow from the current 20% to as much as 60% in one year!
Definitely a phenomenon that cannot be ignored.
Ok, but let's step back.
Microsoft, about two years ago, tried to introduce the topic of BYOD through a cartoon: the result? So simple and straightforward that even a child would be able to understand the usefulness and possible applications of BYOD, a phenomenon at that time still almost unknown.
Let's go back to our days. After two years and billions of mobile devices sold, the IT portal bitzechmagazine came up with an infographicwith the 6 main questions to answer, to verify the effectiveness of the BYOD project in your enterprise.
Also, remember that by planning a good BYOD strategy one may corral its impact on the IT budget, e.g., by managing all of the mobile devices in a centralized manner.
For security reasons, it is also highly recommended to keep the personal and corporate devices over a dissociated Wi-Fi, a strategy already implemented by 43% of the enterprises.
Another very important rule. In principle, you should not "ban" any model/brand of device: you know, the devices are in constant motion, and prohibiting a technology may limit the opportunities.
Personally, I believe that the BYOD phenomenon may surprise us positively in the near future.
The acceptance of personal devices is already, 'per se', certainly an interesting manifestation of "democratization" of corporate IT.
The BYOD could also be seen as the advent of what Bill Gates had anticipated with foresight: the convergence between Digital "Lifestyle" and Digital "Workstyle".
In other words, since the early 2000s, Gates had already predicted - but without being able to truly mobilize Microsoft around this, as it often happens in companies which are already leading a specific market segment - that users would want to use the same device for work activities as much as for their free time, and that the technology would have been able to support them in this regard.
In my opinion, however, the BYOD may represent much more: the processing power of these new smartphone devices and their ease-of-use will be necessarily driving the modernization of the enterprise applications. With a historic turning point in Information Technology, the hardware is returning to dictate how the applications should be designed and accessed, but this time not following hierarchical and centralized logics, but starting instead from the end user's centrality.
The BYOD brings with it this immense potential, and is giving us hope that the revolution brought about by the "consumerization" may finally result in Information Systems which will be easier to use and much more integrated with each other, and, as a consequence, in Companies more efficient & closer to their customers.