By Gary E. Barnett, senior VP and GM, Collaboration Platforms, Avaya
Why should IT pay attention to the ‘Bring Your Own Device’, or BYOD, phenomenon?
Clearly, there’s this trend toward more people saying, “Look, with the technology tools I use in my personal life I’m ahead of where I am in my work life.” Usually it’s the opposite. They see tools at work and wonder when they’re ever going to be able to get them at home. This is one of the few times when it’s the other way around. There’s only one other time that I can remember seeing that in the communications space, and that was in the early stages of IM. Everybody had AOL, and they started to feel hindered because they didn’t have it at work. So they started downloading AOL instant messaging at work because they had found a tool in their personal lives they thought would be applicable to business. That, to a large extent, was what started consumer driven, BYOD-type trends in the workplace. Instant Messaging affected IT the same way BOYD is affecting IT today. There were messages going unencrypted all the way up to AOL and then back out on the network, and IT staff felt as if they had lost control. IT divisions now feel the same way about smartphones and touchpads. There’s proprietary information on these devices, and if they get lost, there’s often no password protection, and no way IT can remotely wipe it out.