From Bring Your Own Device to Bring Your Own Application

Bring your own device has become mainstream in the industry. Not that all companies already apply the principle to the fullest extend. Most companies already make it possible to have some of the companies applications accessible to there employees, but still supply them with the companies desired hardware. But for all companies, at least the discussion on what to do with “the device” is on the corporate agenda.

With the devices more and more outside of the walls of the organization, security becomes a strong issue however. What to do with the data on the “preferred device” if the employee leaves the company? How to secure your data if you are not able to distribute your security and anti-virus software? The big question that comes with the Bring Your Own Device movement (and a great industry that arose from bringing solutions to this movement).

This issue however might become a minor one if we not tackle the next big issue, which I would like to call Bring Your Own Application. A movement, sparkled by the productivity workers who will no longer let the constraints from corporate applications limit their own capabilities to increase productivity.

How did this start? The Born in the Cloud solutions with single specific tasks (e.g. Pipedrive, Evernote, etc.), supported by excellent user experience (both web as well as native mobile) make it possible to have state of the art applications for small subscription fees, that will no longer be a limitation for a personal user to pay for.

But the rise of the API really changed the game. Specific platforms already jumped into this trend and provide standard API connectors between some of the most popular Born in the Cloud productivity solutions (e.g. Zapier, Azuqua etc.). This will allow the productivity user to create his own workflows and optimize his own daytime job.

Hurray for productivity you might say, but it moves the Shadow IT out of the range of Excell and brings it to highly specialized applications. All in the cloud and with connections the IT department has no insights into and more important with no clear insights into security compliancy.

It gives some clear signals companies need to think about today:

·      How can companies leverage the single task focus and user experience to optimize their own application landscape
·      How can companies come with an application architecture where a selection of these Cloud Based applications can be embedded, thereby use the productivity gain even more by integrating it with the core applications
·      How can companies set up a clear governance and guidelines, so that the companies can still be save

So although we need to tackle the security questions on Bring Your Own Device, let’s already explore the opportunities of Bring Your Own Application. It’s a potential threat, but also a potential productivity boost for your employees and your company.

(this blog was also posted on Capgemini’s Capping it Off blog)

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