Moving beyond BYOD, its time for BYOX

by Sohini Bagchi    Jan 18, 2013


We know that bring your own device or BYOD is here to stay and is happening everywhere. Today employees across segments and verticals and in every country are using their personal devices to access corporate data, thanks to the phenomenal growth of smartphones and tablets. However, the ‘Bring Your Own’ trend itself presents a huge challenge and the trend is now spreading beyond mobile devices. It is more about bring your own apps, data, device or everything you use at your work. Research firm Ovum and several other researchers have used this concept as bring your own everything or BYOX and believe that it’s coming of age.

When CIOs were just getting used to the BYOD fever, the new acronym seems to have further added to their trepidation. Experts believe that the new challenge for IT is to strike the balance between meeting the requirements of the consumerized employee, while at the same time keeping corporate data secure. “The dual need is prompting enterprises to move beyond mobile device management (MDM) strategies and take advantage of the specific capabilities of smartphones and tablets around app usage,” says Jaideep Ghosh, Partner KPMG.

Those offering mobility management solutions to enterprises are extending their offerings to mobile application management (MAM) as well as mobile information management (MIM) capabilities.

However, Tim Jennings, Senior Researcher at Ovum believes that there has to be a change in approach. “In an attempt to manage individual devices and apps with policies and compliance measures, the entire mobile strategies seem ever complicated,” he says. It is especially difficult to manage employees using two to three different devices, applications and operating systems. Those CIOs and vendors who are putting devices at the centre of everything may not be able to cope with the changing mobile landscape.

According to Jennings, a far more realistic approach would be to put the employee at the core of all IT policies. The CIO should focus on the users and what they may want and need.
“Placing the user at the centre of policy can be the solution. In this ever complex scenario, the device and the platform become less important. Instead, what becomes important is the need of the user and how IT can fulfill his requirement in a secure, controlled and compliant way,” he states.

Ghosh agrees that there is no point in having separate strategies for your multiple devices when there can be a centrally managed policy for individual user irrespective of the devices, locations or the apps he chooses.

So, as the time to come to think beyond BYOD and adopt BYOX, it is recommended that a centralized mobility approach that takes into consideration the users can be far more organized and can offer less complicated security controls. At the same time, it is capable of creating much improved user experience. It is also highly cost effective.

Jennings believes that once enterprises can think of the IT consumerization trend and not only BYOD in a holistic manner, they will be able to empower the users in getting their job done in a secured and productive way.