There's a sentiment that often comes up when discussing BYOD, the changing workplace, and the consumerization trend as a whole. It's the idea that consumer-oriented cloud services and mobile apps are delivering a much better user experience than an IT staff, business software, and enterprise developers can provide. That's led companies like Enterproid and Apperian to focus on the end-user experience as well as the IT and management experience of their mobile management products. Both companies see the end user experience as a powerful competitive advantage.
Yahoo's Marissa Mayer may buck the BYOD trend and encourage other execs to do the same
The idea that Yahoo's new CEO, Marissa Mayer, wants all Yahoo employees to become iPhone users created quite a stir this week. According to Business Insider, two sources claim that Mayer is considering the move and even considering having Yahoo pick up the tab for it. All Things D confirmed the story with the caveat that Android handsets might be an option for Yahoo staff as well as iPhones.
The move could have several motivations including boosting morale, replacing company BlackBerries with more modern and forward-looking mobile devices, and even standardizing a single or limited range of devices.
But more interesting than her motivations is the fact that Mayer is bucking the bring your own device (BYOD) trend.
The enthusiastic embrace of BYOD in workplaces of every size, shape, and industry has begun to make it seem like an inevitable fact of 21st century business life and an inevitable challenge for corporate IT. The fact that Mayer is considering giving employee corporate-liable devices is a stark contrast to many other technology players -- most notably VMWare, which mandates BYOD for all its workers, and IBM, which is pushing forward with a BYOD program planned to cover virtually all employees.
In bucking that trend, Mayer may be promoting an alternative mobile strategy to BYOD. That model is known as COPE (corporate-owned, personally enabled) and is actively endorsed by the Enterprise Mobility Forum.
The COPE model doesn't aim to turn back the clock to days before the phrase "consumerization of IT" was ever uttered. It aims to provide many of the same consumerization advantages that BYOD does. The difference is that it also aims make consumerized mobility more secure and manageable while encouraging users to select the tools that work best for them.
A COPE deployment at Yahoo might work something like this. A limited number of smartphones would be offered to employees. The options would include the iPhone and probably a handful of Android devices that include the most recent Android release (and therefore the best security features) -- Samsung's Galaxy S III comes immediate to mind.
Users would select a device, agree to a range of policies. Those policies would spell out acceptable use guidelines, any feature or app restrictions, areas where employees might be responsible for expenses (losing the device, excessive data use, international roaming, and so on), and the potential for the device to be further managed if needed or to have data wiped at any time (if the phone is lost and when the user leaves the company being two major instances).
IT would provide the devices and ensure that they are enrolled in one or more mobile management systems. Users would have access to an enterprise app store as well as Apple's App Store or Google Play using the employee's personal account and money for any purchases.
Outside of some device management restrictions and blacklisted apps, users would be free to use the phones as their own. They could take pictures of their families, install and play games, access personal email accounts, and connect to their social networks. They'd also be free to select business tools and apps that they feel work best for them.
If an employee leaves the company, there might even be an option to buy the phone -- after all corporate data was wiped.
Bring your own device is so 2012. The next big push in the consumerization of IT is bring your own cloud. And just as when consumer devices poured into the enterprise, many IT organizations have already responded with a list of do's and don'ts.
Skyhigh monitors what cloud services employees are using and said that most businesses are surprised at what it finds.
A study by Cisco Systems' Internet Business Solutions Group concludes that the value companies currently derive from BYOD is "dwarfed by the gains that would be possible if they were to implement BYOD more strategically."