BYOD - Not just another fad

As a nation of Kiwis we’ve grown up on BYO. Across this fair land of ours we’ve brought our own beer, sossies and sounds to our mates barbies, sat down and chilled the afternoon away.

Now BYO is the fastest growing trend in enterprise computing. BYOD - Bring Your Own Device or BYOT – Bring Your Own Technology is all the rage and is all the more surprising when you think that traditionally enterprise computing is generally focused on standardised, supported, and controlled desktop services.

Cloud Computing, improvements in connectivity quality and availability and the widespread use of SMART devices by all and sundry have all played their part in the growth of BYOD.

So what’s the go? Well we already see Apple devotees bringing their iPhones and iPads to work and we are all aware of recent reports of certain schools requiring parents to provide some form of mobile device for their child but this is just scratching the surface.

A recent report by Forrester, the global research and advisory firm, identifies three major talking points in the BYOD/T space:

i) Workers using a range of self-provisioned devices, software, and services to do their jobs

53% of information workers are using their own personal devices, have installed unsupported software, or used unsupported Internet-based services to help them do their jobs.

This trend is not necessarily restricted to any one geographic area, industry sector or size of company, which is to say BYO adoption is relative to what is the most effective and productive way for your team to do its job irrespective of who you are, where you are or how big you are.

ii) Technology departments and company CTOs cannot afford to ignore BYOD/T

It’s accepted that new technologies will be self-provided - most aggressively by senior executives. Those traditional IT organisations that might want to ignore it and hope it goes away may not be able to because senior execs are leading the BYOD/T charge.

Research shows that 77% of executives buy their own hardware and 45% their own software. These numbers already make BYO look irresistible.

iii) A major shift will occur over the next 3 to 5 years as BYOD/T grows and grows

BYOD/T currently operates largely on a voluntary basis. But seeing the benefits and ensuring themselves of the ability to secure and monitor systems and usage, companies will get over their initial fears and encourage workers to bring their own technology.

It may not be too far away when one of the requirements of joining a new company is to turn up on day one with your own computer equipment, connect up and off you go!

So there you have it; Bring Your Own – from beer to computers in just a few short steps. What’s the real future? The measured view?

Well undoubtedly BYOD is here and will grow. It makes sense. It supports the view that a computer is just a device and we’ve got to stop being so precious about devices. However let’s not lose sight of the fact that like most things in our technology saturated universe this is another channel, another option. It’s not necessarily nor need it be a complete replacement for existing ways of doing things. On-line shopping is a fantastic innovation but I don’t see the crowds at the mall getting any less.

So as with all things in the technology world, take the time to consider if it’s really for you. What do you want to achieve in your business and what technology do you need to support that goal? If it is BYOD/T then don’t hesitate – do it. Your team may well thank you for it.