Consumerization, Mobility, and BYOD: They’re All the Same Thing, Right?July 30, 2012
No, they’re not.
Let’s talk terminology. There are a lot of terms for the ways that technology in the workplace is changing. At the forefront are consumerization, mobility, and bring your own device (BYOD). These trends overlap, but they are not the same thing, and preparing for them requires consideration of the unique challenges that each trend brings.
Consumerization, mobility in the enterprise, and BYOD do share a common origin: people bringing their own mobile consumer technology to work. In many organizations, this began with executives bringing their iPhones, and later, iPads, to work and expecting them to be supported. This opened the door to a larger change that is now transforming the entire workplace.
Consumerization is the use of technology that was designed with consumers, rather than businesses, in mind. Not all consumer technology is mobile, so dealing with consumerization requires looking beyond mobile. The fact is, a lot of technology used in the workplace isn’t necessarily workplace-friendly any more. It doesn’t have built-in security or integrations with enterprise applications. The trade-off is that mass consumer appeal makes this technology easier and more pleasant to use. Furthermore, consumerization doesn’t necessarily lead to BYOD. The iPad is a consumer-centric device, but is invading many businesses as a corporate-issued device.
Info-Tech’s solution set Tackle the Technology of Consumerization is a tour through consumer technology and how it affects IT, full of zombies and tech celebrities.
Mobility refers primarily to smartphones and tablets. Not all mobile technology is consumer technology. BlackBerry smartphones were designed for and popular in the enterprise before consumerization was ever a word. Furthermore, not all mobile technology comes in through BYOD. All technology is becoming more mobile, and that includes devices issued by the organization.
A mobile management strategy should be tailored to your organization’s needs, and mobility needs to be considered as one part of consumerization and BYOD. Our solution set Develop a Mobile Management Strategy can help in choosing and implementing a strategy specific to mobile devices.
BYOD refers to employees using their own personal technology in the workplace. BYOD is not only about mobile devices. The trend may have started with mobile, but now the door is open for all personal devices–laptops included–to be used both at work and at home. Furthermore, BYOD is not another word for consumerization. Even organizations that refuse to jump on the BYOD bandwagon are affected by consumerization, because the devices they issue to employees are going to be increasingly consumer-centric.
We are currently working on a solution set addressing the unique challenges that come from transitioning from traditionally deployed technology to a BYOD organization, regardless of what the “D” is.
The first thing to do before implementing any strategies, technologies, or policies is to get your terminology straight. Know where you stand on consumerization, mobility, and BYOD before developing a plan that incorporates all three.This entry was posted in Infrastructure, What's New in Research and tagged BYOD, consumerization, mdm, mobile. Bookmark the permalink.