What is it? Commonly referred to as Bring Your Own Device, it refers to the unstoppable trend of end-users within enterprises utilizing consumer devices in the word place. This is a simplification, but captures the essence of how board of directors are using iPads, and how Facebook became a permitted service inside organizations. (the Facebook example is a poor one, as that is an Application .. but that will be raised in a future discussion).
The challenge to enterprises is how to enable these end-users with these technologies? How to gain efficiencies and advantage? How to allow end-users to be happy with their ability to self select their devices. As ultimately, the end-users within corporations are quite happy with their iPhones and such devices .. it is only the need of corporate IT to streamline the integration.
Here is where things become interesting …
BYOD in most regions of the world refers to “Bring” your own device, while in certain regions it refers to “Buy” your own device. Ownership of the device is quite important legally, upon how someone uses that device, and what controls are generally accepted.
In the United States for instance – end-users Bring and Buy their own devices, generally. This means that Corporate IT must wrestle with ownership, MDM, and a diverse device / OS ecosystem. Such challenges center on the ability to fully wipe a device in case of a policy violation. The capability to fully monitor and restrict via policy the permitted applications. In addition simply utilizing the full breadth of technology on the device – i.e., conjoining GPS proximity technology with multifactor authentication to increase the confidence of user credentials when within corporate offices (a general uneasy concept with personal devices, but something magically simple when the whole device is owned and part of the operations and security ecosystem).
In other regions, such as in Europe, the devices are purchased by the business and provided to the end-users.
So is it really “BYOD” or not, for intents and purposes the end-user drive; the customization applied to these devices; the personalization, and such are all identical to that of the U.S. BYOD. The difference is in HOW the user interfaces with the device and WHAT can be done to safeguard the device.
- How is your organization managing these cross cultural perspectives?
- How have you considered the cost and operational expenses of each BYOD?
- What are the implications for security, compliance, and long term competitiveness (as it is ultimately being competitive that ensures that security and compliance will continue to matter)
Business operations, electing and incorporating mobile / BYOD technology is obviously a decision that has been made by most organizations. Either by the rebelling user base, or through sanctioned programs. The next field of play is to focus on the cultural aspects and embrace a forward looking vision at the emerging legislation related to such protections & expectations of consumers.
Culture eats strategy for lunch … so BYOD, please meet Culture.
James DeLuccia IV