The Next Big Thing in BYOD, Continued

Carl Weinschenk

Get ready for the next big thing. Or things. Or the evolution of the  current next big thing.

Whatever the label, the idea is that the widespread trend of people bringing their devices to work (BYOD) is evolving. As is usually the case, the next iterations of a truly big idea are more refined and subtle.

So far, there seem to be two major follow-on trends. One is extending BYOD to include employee use of their own applications (naturally, BYOA) and an approach in which the company retains ownership of devices, but lets employees bring their own apps.

BYOA, according to Edwin Schouten, IBM's Cloud Services Leader for Global Technology Services in its Benelux region, sees many positives. Joe McKendrick at ZDNet writes that Schouten thinks BYOA cuts costs, reduces training requirements since users already are familiar with their apps and it will be relatively easy to integrate the apps into the organization's IT infrastructure.

The BYOA trend also is getting traction in Europe. The Telegraph takes a look at the issue. The familiar names of the applications are the best case for the idea that consumer apps will invade the enterprise, whether IT likes it or not. Indeed, this is being driven by users and, in that way, is very similar to the original impetus of BYOD. In both cases, common entities (devices in one cases, platforms in the other) formed an unstoppable wave of change.

Here is how The Telegraph describes BYOA:

Bring or choose, the trend is for employees to use such tools for storage  note-taking and free apps such as Skype for voice communications. The numbers  are already impressive. Yammer has more than five million corporate users,  Google apps has 40 million active users and Dropbox has more than 50 million  users.

The alternatives quickly multiply once the established paradigm — in which everything is owned locked, stock and barrel by the organization -- is broken. For instance, ReadWrite Enterprise has a story on another new approach called Corporate Owned Personally Enabled (COPE). In this scenario, the device itself is owned by the organization, but apps come from the employee. This is how Ben Profitt explains this approach:

COPE essentially works like this: the organization buys the device and still owns it, but the employee is allowed, within reason, to install the applications they want on the device, be it smartphone or traditional computer.

BYOD is old news to many folks. It is, however, a concept with which many organizations still struggle. The bottom line is that there are twists and turns — and even newer things to deal with — ahead.

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