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)

New distribution methods and breaking up your business

Today marks an important event. The launch of the Mac App store. Those of you who know me, know that I am a big Mac fan and probably already thought that this was a thing that I would like.

But it is bigger then only my own adoration of Apple. It is a breakthrough in the distribution of software. It started with iTunes and the distribution of music, followed by the App store for the iPhone and iPod. With the introduction of the Mac App store, we go one step further and will have a total different approach to the distribution of software. This will not only influence the way we buy stuff, but the whole supply of new software will also create a complete new business environment. No large companies are required, just some great developers with some great business ideas (of course, good marketing always comes in handy).

My assignment for you for 2011. In your industry, how can you change the rules on the distribution of your goods or services. And even more important, how can you break up your business model in smaller modules. And then market these modules separately.

There is market enough. Look how Android is leveraging on the concept created by Apple.

The only question is whether you have the creativity to come up with the new models and whether you have the guts to break up your existing business model. If it is to scary, start an incubator. Put new, young management on top of it and guide and coach it with your most senior management. But don’t intervene to early, let them make mistakes.

2011 is another great your to experiment. My advice, change the model and break it up. Learn from what others are doing and make it unique within your business.

Frank Wammes