Bring Your Own (BYO) technology is no more just a prediction, solid business cases with enterprises and quick adaption is making this a necessity. Here I am writing more about my experience with BYO and the way I see it. Now smart computing is keeping me engaged with my business round the clock and finally my life is changing fast with smart computing. Everyday usage of my alternative tinny devices is increasing. Why? It is ease of use!
So what is stopping organization from adoption of BYO? Besides maturity and awareness, I see, security, accessibility and uniformity are three major areas when we are considering its adoption. But I really do not think those are barriers but I think these are just hypothetical fear those can be resolved with fact base analysis. After using a scoring model I find benefits has much higher score than threats! So obviously this is a quite good reason I use my own device.
Security is obviously the most discussed point in BYO adoption. I can prioritize four major security areas, Identity and access management, directory services, network security and compliance. In many blogs and article it is said about control. I think this need to be concluded only after analyzing what we need to control and what we don’t. Scenario cannot be same across all industry and domain. Defining "acceptable usage policy" and controlling compliance of these policies is all about control to me. I use my smart devices as per acceptable policies and when I am connected to corporate network my every activity is controlled but I myself manage my devices! At present I see, smart computing platform = Windows+ IOS+ Android. Yes, enterprises can secure and control user’s own device usage in business.
When accessibility is in question, today, with cheaper and faster bandwidth it is not a pain to work over the internet as was few years back; even I do not mind to carry a BCP. We no more need to fight for traditional Video conference room; rather we carry this tool with each of us. Collaboration tools in better form are available in our mobile devices. I feel accessibility is much better with my “smart devices”. Surprisingly when I am doing RDP over my iPad, I find it better and smarter. I agree there is improvement opportunity for corporate use but my experience in Capgemini BYO is rich enough to enjoy computing. In short, I do not see accessibility challenges of BYO those are difficult to resolve.
I agree Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a key enabler of BYO but not mandatory when we are thinking about uniformity. Uniformity in collaboration and communication is indeed better with BYO. What about production environment? I do implement a server in data center from My TAB or phone!! I access our ERP applications from My Tab and I am sure our IT colleagues can do their design and development work from these flexible devices. In short, barrier of uniformity is not a barrier at all.
To summarize, smart computing has done a radical change in my life, it made me multitasking, more innovative and much more productive and I cannot think living without my own device. Working hour is not just actually we work but impact remains beyond those hours, in our brain and mind, this way I do not have a boundary of working hour. With a strong BYO infrastructure in Capgemini, I feel, BYO is not just a trend or hype but it is or will be a necessity of tomorrow!!
Why enterprises need to allow or leverage BYO? The strongest reason I see is significant improvement in workforce productivity and innovation. When I need to work on some serious subject that requires my deep thinking, working from home makes me comfortable. I shall not be surprised if this trend leads enterprises in a situation when no office space at all is required or requirement is reduced significantly. True that one size does not fit all thus this trend is not applicable for all but applicable to a large number of workforces particularly IT department. “Work from anywhere” is another firm justification of BYO. I shall not be surprised if we see Data centers are managed (as I am an infrastructure professional) over smart appliances. Just imagine, when corporate no longer needs large number of employees to be physically present at office but working virtually in more efficient way. I know this is not going to change our traditional approach in a day and there are lots of arguments on collaboration physically vs. virtually. What I see, virtual office is a reality in many cases.
Here is an interesting quote from Joakim Lindbom who is using BYO much before Capgemini or industry has an offering (http://www.capgemini.com/insights-and-resources/by-publication/bring-your-own/) of BYO.
“Since I've been doing BYO for most of my 26 years with Capgemini it's hard to say what it would have been without it. I've had tremendous use of my own IT solutions, be it recovery of broken work laptop disks by mounting and recovering with my home Linux server, be it backup and restore, be it flexibility and agnosticism of time & place for work. But perhaps the most important part for me is to live every day with the innovations in our industry. If I was to wait until we rolled out "the latest and greatest" 5-7-10 years after it was introduced, I would simply not have the knowledge and skills I have. Living with innovation under the skin gives you a personal feel for what it's good for, not relying on second-third hand experiences or urban legend. I understand this can be seen as wild spread, uncontrollable weeds growing in the organization, but for me it's essential. I don't think we can have a centrally controlled, endorsed and governed bleeding-edge IT attitude. There is not one solution at any time that's right for all; #rouge_it is the only way to allow it. But what we could do to foster early adopter thinking is to stop standardizing on products and instead to standardize on standards and principles. Don't assume everybody is using the exact same Windows image, but make sure we have collaboration, communication, document & information-standards. Make sure people can exchange information and documents, don't force them to use a specific (8 year old) office product”
Here is another interesting article from Andy on mobility and the future of computing. http://www.capgemini.com/ctoblog/2011/10/outsidein-agile-methodology-radical-approach-mobility/