It seems to be everywhere. Even if you aren’t aware of its meaning, the chances are good that you are at least familiar with the acronym: BYOD. It has evolved to such a degree, in such a relatively short amount of time, that it has resulted in a sort of paradigm shift within the business and technology industries.
It has literally changed the way that corporations across industries conduct business and, suffice to say, there doesn’t appear to be any signs of this trend slowing down.
What Is BYOD?
As an idea, BYOD is somewhat monumental. As an acronym, BYOD is simple – it’s short for Bring Your Own Device. With the emergence of ever more capable mobile devices, businesses are finding that they can reduce overhead costs, provide for increased flexibility in the workplace, and improve employee morale by allowing individuals to provide their own hardware. While it may be some time before laptops and desktop computers disappear from the workplace entirely, the BYOD trend has started businesses down that path.
In effect, BYOD allows individuals to furnish their own tools – the tools that they feel will best suit their needs – to accomplish their daily work responsibilities. This strategy helps to eliminate training time, procurement costs, and upkeep of company software, all while improving morale, efficiency and productivity. Put simply, people who use their own devices in the workplace can work more quickly, with greater satisfaction. It is for these reasons and more that BYOD has begun to explode in the workplace.
From Small Beginnings Come Great Things
The term BYOD is relatively young. In fact, it only first appeared in a 2005 paper presented at UBICOMP, the yearly conference on computing. While this may be eons ago in internet time, it’s impossible to deny that any technological development that is less than a decade old can only be considered in its infancy. And yet, since its “birth,” adoption has continued to increase and familiarity is becoming greater by the day. The trend may be young, but it is by no means found wanting.
This expansion has been made possible in part by smarter, more capable, and more flexible mobile devices. The BlackBerry BYOD revolution was arguably the start of it all; BlackBerry devices allowed access to email, internet and apps on the go, and paved the way for similar smart devices. Since then, the market has been joined by the likes of Android, Apple, Microsoft and others, and is now at the point of saturation. There are new smart devices being introduced every week, it would seem, and each is advertised as being more capable or more unique than the next.
If the appropriate hardware and software needs to first be invented for a BYOD workplace environment to be adopted, it is also worth noting that widespread adoption was dependent on companies getting on board early and embracing this new way of approaching business. It’s no small feat, considering how intractable industries can be, and how slow they can be to adopt new technologies. Yet, as the statistics show, companies have been quick to embrace BYOD. Shockingly so, when one considers that the first BlackBerry was launched in 1999. From the first days of the BlackBerry BYOD revolution, the industry has moved forward at warp speed without once looking back.
What the Future Holds
It should perhaps come as no surprise that all signs point to BYOD becoming even more prevalent in the near future. In fact, not only do more than 50 percent of companies within the United States already allow a BYOD workplace policy, but some predict that by 2017, 50 percent of companies will require individuals to furnish their own devices for work. Considering that smart devices increase productivity, improve morale, help eliminate unnecessary training requirements, allow for employees to come up to speed in less time, and reduce procurement costs, it only makes sense. The big question is not whether or not BYOD will catch on; after all, it already has. The question is: how soon will it be until BYOD enjoys 100 percent adoption?