BYOD is an applications strategy

Bring your own device (BYOD) is not just a purchasing policy and needs to be approached more broadly with the applications and strategies designed for today’s world, according to Gartner.

Gartner says the key decision about BYOD is one of 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, Gartner.

“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,” added Carlton.

Most organizations have diverse workforces, made up of full-time staff, external contracting agencies, independent professionals, and part-time staff. In addition to the changes in the workforce, all enterprises (business, government and community) have been pushing their processes beyond their own organizational boundaries and it is increasingly clear that the IT organization no longer has absolute control over the tools used to access the corporate systems and data.

“BYOD is an indication that internal IT is not providing adequate support for a segment of the user population and they are seeking alternatives elsewhere,” said Carlton.

“It’s important to recognize that BYOD, bring your own application (BYOA) and cloud adoption are leading indicators of long-term structural change occurring in the industry, not the demands of a few errant staff demanding their favorite brand of technology,” added Carlton.

Applications within the business now 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,” said Carlton.

“This is a leading indicator of change for which an appropriate response is required. Reasserting control is not an appropriate response. This is a permanent and irreversible shift in the way that IT is procured and implemented to support the organization, suppliers and customers,” added Carlton.

Gartner recommends that enterprises 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.

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