Now it’s BYOA to follow BYOD

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A topic in business I hear being talked about a lot is “bring your own device” – BYOD for short – that illustrates some of the profound changes taking place in the workplace in how people use (and want to use ) technologies and tools that let them get things done.

The notion of BYOD – where employees bring their own devices to work and use them for work rather than the far more common practice of a device given to them, and managed/controlled by, the IT department – is capturing imaginations everywhere, in big organizations especially.

BYOD is one of those topics that is hugely hyped, as Gartner’s latest hype cycle for emerging technologies suggests where BYOD currently sits at the high point of the peak of inflated expectations.

BYOD undoubtedly has many benefits, balanced of course by risks to consider. Yet as is often the case with new and exciting technologies, the expectation of what it enables people to do far exceeds its ability to deliver in the time people expect (or wish).

Now there’s something else to consider – BYOA.

It’s no longer about the device, says the Telegraph – now it’s about the apps that the employee uses. It’s been dubbed BYOA or “bring your own apps.”

The Telegraph reports on a recent Citrix survey that says that in the UK, more than 90 per cent of organizations are seeing employees downloading their own apps for business use. There are worries, though:

[...] almost two-thirds of these companies [are] concerned about unmanaged app usage in the workplace and the effects it has on the privacy of that organisation’s data.

But…

[...] Innovation is coming from customers and employees as they demand apps that work better for them than the prescribed software and processes offered by businesses historically. Already it seems clear that Cloud-based apps, while creating a clash of cultures in many organisations, are the future.

The Telegraph’s report goes into detail on possible ways this evolutionary next step might play out, with opinions from a number of experts in the field.

What seems clear is that enabling people to use an app they choose, on the device they choose, makes good sense if you get the calculation right of benefit vs risk.

What you can’t do is ignore a powerful trend.

I wonder if or where BYOA will appear on Gartner’s hype cycle next year. Maybe BYOA is one of those things that requires connection with another technology to trigger its tipping point. That ‘other’ clearly looks like BYOD.

(Image via Distimo)

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.