BYOD should be seen on a broader canvas
Many companies are just going for Bring your own device (BOYD) without even having a broad framework and strategy in place. This would not yield the positive results the BYOD concept can garner, according to research firm Gartner that indicates companies need to approach BYOD at a broader level, by having the applications architecture and solutions design.
“Designing your applications to meet the demands of BYOD is not the same as setting usage policies or having strategic sourcing plans that mandate a particular platform,” said Darryl Carlton, research director at Gartner. According to him, BYOD should be a design principle that provides you with a vendor neutral applications portfolio and a flexible future-proof architecture. If the applications exhibit technical constraints that limit choice and limit deployment, then the purchasing policy is irrelevant.
Most organizations have diverse workforces, comprising full-time and part-time staff, external contracting agencies and independent professionals. “The community of users has expanded to include suppliers, customers, employees and a very broad range of stakeholders. As a result, we are no longer developing applications for deployment to an exclusive user base over which we exert standards and control,” says Carlton.
This development is leading to the need for IT to look into the techniques and practices of what Gartner calls “global class” computing — an approach to designing systems and architectures that extends computing processes outside the enterprise and into the cultures of the consumer, mobile worker and business partners. The only way to address the impact of global class is to mandate it as a principle in the applications strategy.
In such a scenario, Gartner suggests that applications within the business need to support a diverse and demanding community of users both within and outside of the organization. Different groups of users are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to the capabilities of their devices and solutions to support them in delivering outcomes for the business. The IT organization cannot dictate standards or implement solutions that require proprietary controls.
“For CIOs to consider BYOD activities within their organization to be a temporary problem generated by a few disaffected employees would be a tragic mistake,” states Carlton.
Gartner recommends that IT leaders should develop their strategy based on an assumption that BYOD will happen, and that they will need to support users outside of the organization’s boundaries. “Starting with this assumption will mean that open standards are quickly enforced for all solutions,” he sums up.
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