Recent research conducted by Ipsos MORI and commissioned by
Huddle, a collaboration platform vendor, found that 73% of office workers in
the United States (61% in the UK) are downloading personal software and apps on
enterprise-owned tablets. Meanwhile, 52% of U.S. workers (59% in the UK) use
personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones to store and work on enterprise
content. These findings shed light on where CIOs need to focus on Bring Your
Own Device (BYOD) inside their enterprises.

I’ve been hearing a number of industry experts and analysts decry that we are in the era of BYOD 2.0. From this
writer’s seat, BYOD is still struggling for a definition in 2013. BYOD 2.0
comes off as too much of one sect’s attempt to define the hydra that BYOD has
become due to marketing, PR, and technology punditry.

BYOD 2.0 in the enterprise

If my inbox is any barometer, technology vendors large and
small want a slice of revenue from BYOD. I receive press releases and
pitches frequently that try to shoehorn various technologies into some sort
of a BYOD solution.

The best comparison/contrast I’ve read about BYOD 2.0 and
BYOD is from a Forbes.com article by Bob Egan entitled, “BYOD As We Know It Is Dead”:

“If BYOD 1.0 has been responding to the needs of the employee,
BYOD 2.0 efforts will focus more on the needs of where the
enterprise and the employee intersect. Perhaps the most
valuable key attribute of BYOD 2.0 will be to
provide right-time experience (user interface + user experience) to the systems,
solutions and points of collaboration that are mutually relevant to the company
and to the employee.”

There’s some valid sentiment in this definition. The quote
comes from Yaacov Cohen, CEO of harmon.ie. He knows what he’s talking about. His quote
strikes to the heart of what I see as one of the issues around vendors and
pundits defining BYOD. These issues include:

  • “Romancing” the trend instead of focusing on the
    business solution
  • Putting the needs of the employee before the
    needs of the business
  • Focusing on the employee before the team and the
    project

F5 spun yet another BYOD 2.0 definition to suit their own
marketing agendas with “BYOD 2.0 – Moving Beyond MDM with F5 Mobile App Manager”:

“BYOD
2.0 seeks to ensure that the enterprise footprint on a personally owned device
is limited to the enterprise data and applications and nothing more. This means
that mobile device management is supplanted by mobile application management
(MAM), and device-level VPNs are replaced by application-specific VPNs. These
application-specific VPNs include technology such as BIG-IP APM AppTunnels, a
single secure, encrypted connection to a specific service such as Microsoft
Exchange.”

I can’t fault F5 for this maneuver. However, F5 and
other vendor definitions of BYOD and BYOD 2.0 are fomenting confusion and not
much substantive discussion on how to implement a BYOD program successfully
within a corporate enterprise without risking data security and employee
productivity.

< Insert Company Name Here > BYOD

I advocate that CIOs, IT departments, and their business
users define BYOD for their organization. When you break it down, BYOD is
another business decision. It’s one tool
to enable employees to be more responsive to customers and prospects. Going to
BYOD or bypassing profoundly influences employee communications and
collaboration. There are also productivity implications, because your employees
will have access to documents and other corporate information across multiple
devices from wherever they are working.

Toss out the marketing literature. Focus on what your
organization needs from BYOD to be successful. Here’s an outline of what you
need to do to define BYOD for your organization:

  • Define success for BYOD in your organization
  • Define and document BYOD user policies
  • Audit your end point and network security to
    ensure that it can accommodate an influx of BYOD user devices
  • Implement security infrastructure via Mobile Device
    Management (MDM), virtualization, the cloud, or a hybrid solution that meets
    your requirements
  • Define collaboration and document-level security
    for BYOD devices
  • Provide end-user training in your program
    policies and security

As your BYOD program gets underway, then it’s important to
do the following:

  • Evaluate the success of your BYOD program
    policies through in-person or online feedback mechanisms
  • Make policy and other corrections as needed, based
    on your evaluation
  • Capture BYOD success stories from within your
    organization 

Conclusion

The CIO and their team need to drive BYOD from concept through implementation in their organization. Strong CIO leadership is integral to the success of a BYOD
program. Only the CIO and the business units they support can write the
definition of BYOD or BYOD 2.0 — or whatever you want to call it. Business needs
to come first, and then the employee benefits. 

Is your organization defining BYOD for itself? Share your BYOD experience in the discussion thread below.