Tuesday, 13 December 2011

BYOD 2 – A possibility for "the cool guys"

In the first part (BYOD 1 – What is, why trend) I wrote about some basics about what BYOD is and why it has become a trend. We also got some information about what vendors, analysts and journalists say and think about it. Now let's look into for whom is BYOD good for: BYOD 2 - a possibillity for the cool guys.

First; I won’t further discuss this but employers who are having a policy which says “here you have some money, go by your own” is to me a employer who don’t have an attractive device policy. They are just struggling to be an attractive employer and have a weak policy and management level, which is controlled by the employees. It will only create an administrative mess. Just think about simple thing like if the employer buys a device not good enough, who’s responsible to return or upgrade it? And when someone ends their employment after 1 month or 1 year, before the depreciation time ends, should the employer give the “so personal” device to someone else? Just skip this way of BYO, its buy your own and it’s not good for anyone more than the hardware vendor. Let’s focus on the BRING your own.

For vendors of pads and smartphones it’s definitely worth pushing BYOD. But this market will increase whether or not BYOD-model will be implemented by the employer.

For vendors of virtual desktops it will be a continued golden era. My opinion is that virtual desktops (VD) have a, undeserved, bad reputation, this because of bad tradition of lazy communication links and old versions of VD’s. Virtual desktops are a really good way to connect to the employer’s palette of services. With the newer versions from Citrix, VMware, Microsoft and all the others you can get a really nice employer and employee user experience. I will get back to VD’s in a later post.

For vendors of management software the development have to proceed with or without the BYOD. The market of pads and smartphones + the market of VD’s increases and companies have to orchestrate and provide desktops/apps to many different devices.

Fine, the business seems to grow for the main segment of vendors to BYOD solutions…with or without BYOD.

But – if you look at the BYOD trend in general, not on pads, VD’s and management systems, how big is this market and for whom is it for? Sorry, but I think we expect too much of BYOD. I am not going to tear every good reason of freedom down. I am sure I have more than 10 killer reasons why not BYOD. Neither I will embrace why you should allow and implement BYOD. I will focus on some basic reasons why it might be complicated for BYOD to grow and become a legacy standard in delivering IT. Also, and probably the main reason, why it will be difficult to see wins for both employees and employers.

People, by nature, will try to save money so they will try this, they will claim it is a working tool. And - who wouldn’t?! In Sweden and many other countries you do a yearly income declaration. In some cases you are able to withdraw private costs for clothes and tools you need to use in your work. How will tax authorities handle this? I’m quite sure the tax authority will say no no pointing “your employee agreement doesn’t say you should bring your own and we expect your employer should provide you with the device you need.”

Some industries will never ever support own devices. Banks, defense, audit, research in medical and technique etc. Just think about the rigorous security programs and policies companies have to secure their business from attacks, industrial espionage etc. The effort to achieve a secure BYOD-program is too high both from a risk and a cost perspective.

In the first part I talked about Apple being the guys to thank for BYOD. Windows still has a devastating majority of all the professional desktops around the world. But many employers now more do allow, or start to implement, Mac in their standard device portfolio. And when this is implemented at a reasonable level many Mac users most probably want a client the employer pays for instead of bringing their own.

The reason I started to think about BYOD was for this reason; who are the BYOD targeted people and what happens when the bringing becomes an employer demand? I will talk about the employer demand in part 3, so first; who are the targeted people? The people I think about works in areas like IT, market and sales. Not seldom talented with creative skills. Not seldom young. Not seldom with a quite nice salary. The privileged people, the cool guys. How about all the others? Where the absolute mass of people reside = where the margin and all the easy money resides. Note! I haven’t done any research. I am struggling to find other users but it’s difficult, and don’t think I haven’t thought about this. How many are there in industries like industry, health care, general offices – all the “normal” people, the mass, the money? No, they won’t bring their own devices to work – they won’t. If a nurse was allowed to use his/her iPad to read journals on the round he/she wouldn’t – it’s in the walls.

To me BYOD is something for the cool guys. Success stories should include easy money, easy money won’t be found at the cool guys’ level– they are far too few to give big business. Save the BYOD campaign money to something better.

Until part 3 remember; if you bring your own you own it and are responsible for it!

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