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Bring Your Own Eco-System


Just a few days after my last blog (published on the ViFX website) on the growing need for remote support as BYOD gets bigger, this fresh story came in from CIO magazine:

The main point raised here is that companies are still catching up with how personal devices are being used on the network, and the rapid increase. But is BYOD really running wild? What about the idea that BYOD can be self-supported as tech-savvy and generally younger users look to social community sites for their support needs.

Lets have a closer look

  • the technical capability of smartphones & mobiles is seeing a huge leap and the investment is continuing on a massive scale (e.g. Google investing billions in Android)
  •  the growth in connected mobile apps for business use is only beginning
  • service desk & IT ops resources are under increasing demand to support mobile device use
  • the rise in mobile technology in the enterprise is disruptive  – IT ops admin may not be trained, with no industry-accepted policies or standards
  •  imposing restrictive BYOD access & support controls is going to be increasingly difficult
  • the social collaboration support networks in place for individuals may not work so well for business apps used in a B2C or B2B context

So where is this heading? A lot more BYOD noise that’s where. This change in application architecture is going to be bigger than the client-server paradigm. Back then, the idea of a windows app was the touchpoint, but the infrastructure changes it caused and the complexity it led to was huge. And those complexities are still with us.

It’s a simple idea but a compelling one to get across the implications. The impact of the massive investment in mobile computing is going to be bigger than simply how we handle the growth in mobile devices in our infrastructure.

It changes the type of application we use, and the architecture, radically. It changes how we access the network, and how we authenticate.  It changes how we need support delivered, and when. It changes the way our devices and the applications need to integrate data with other applications sharing the network.

While this partly generation-driven mindshift is a disruptive phenomenon of it’s own, the huge growth in cloud-based on-demand services is fuelling it. Just 2 or 3 years ago, BYOD was about connecting mobile phones so users could use them for email, web browsing, and maybe some data sharing, with the corporate network. Now, BYOD has morphed into a range of smart devices running any of at least 4 major new operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry) all of which are evolving rapidly into discrete application platforms in their own right.

And none of these changes will simplify the job of IT ops or IT architecture.

BYOD is too simple a term. BYOE – bring your own eco-system is more accurate. I noted above the complexity legacy of client-server computing, now the foundation of our legacy IT.

Well it just may turn out that IT complexity will be “you ain’t seen nothing yet” once BYOE gets to be the dominant device access for everyone on the network under age 35.

Gartner Group is one commentator that is pointing out what they call the “Nexus of Forces” with cloud, mobile, social and information aligning.

It looks like it’s about technology, but remember the real driver is applications. The style of app that is now available on your iPhone, or Android, is setting the standard for what the BYOE generation expects.

Again this parallels the paradigm shift of client-server computing. It wasn’t the PC connected to the IT network that changed everything, it was the new style of Windows app that the PC enabled. That changed the user expectation forever.

Managing customer experience is about to get a lot more interesting.

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