What BYOD Means To All of Us

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, but here’s what that really means, and why all of us must care…now!

A Right, Not a Privilege: That’s the finding of a new survey of thousands of 20-somethings. Millennials see BYOD as a way for them to control their work and their lives. Not only is it crucial for them to have complete freedom of use of their own tablets or iPhones or Droids, but 60% said they want a Bring Your Own App environment where “users create and use their own custom applications.”

Whoa. And uh-oh. That is big: That means the workforce is officially demanding that corporate-centered infrastructures get turned upside down. We are officially entering user-centered territory. 

Are you one of the ones actively demanding more from Corporate IT? If not, why not? If not you, who? If not now, when? 

For decades, Corporate IT has seen itself as Tough Cop, policing corporate security and keeping the bad guys out. Well, that role is still crucial. But guess what Head Geeks — you can no longer do that while making your own people less productive, and robbing them of their ability to be their best through the tools they use. 

Welcome to the world of My Work My Way.

Ten years ago, I laid out this scenario in Work 2.0. (That link gets you a freebie copy. Enjoy!)

What’s happening is that for decades, most C-Suite executives and their shared services (like IT and HR) have been corporate-centered…meeting corporate needs by heaping complexity and extra work and ridiculous barriers onto their workforce.

But the Millennials have grown up being empowered by user-centered experiences, tech and tools that are focused on helping them do their best.

And unlike their older co-workers, who entered the job market before the “there’s an app for that” era, they’re not going to wait for Corporate IT to “get it.” The survey cited above found that 30% of those Millennials are contravening policies that don’t allow them to use their own apps. That’s a politically correct word for hacking workarounds, and in line with Jensen findings that between one-third and two-thirds of all workers are hacking around corporate rules, tools and procedures that get in their way.

Oh dear Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

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