Trend number four in our series of blog posts on the top seven ITSM trends for 2014 is BYOD becomes BYOT.
As private ownership of laptops, tablets and smartphones continues to grow, and more Digital Natives/Millenials move into the workforce to replace retiring baby boomers, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is swelling. Employees who are accustomed to using different personal devices for shopping, banking and communicating expect to use their devices in their working lives. Sometimes this is because they don’t want to carry duplicate devices, but often it is because their personal technology is more powerful than the devices issued by their employers.
For most organizations it is not practical to compete with the technology that users are bringing into the workplace, so BYOD is here to stay. People are upgrading their smartphone handsets every 6 months or every year, whereas many organizations have a two or three year cycle. Employees are like water: they’ll find the route of least resistance to get to where they need to be, and if that means bending the rules to become more productive, they’ll do it.
However, it is emerging that BYOD is too limited a term. The consumerization of IT goes way beyond physical devices. Employees are bringing their own consumer applications, storage services, and sometimes even data into the workplace, which will bring with it even greater security and IT support headaches.
Now that the scope has gone beyond devices, Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is probably a better, more future-proof term. For ITSM, the challenge is to ramp up support to cover a much larger variety of devices. Just as IT seemed to be making standardization work, the influx of powerful consumer technology has effectively rendered standardization an unworkable strategy. However, there is hope.
As cloud technology becomes the predominant paradigm, and web and mobile standards take hold, services and applications become more device-agnostic, reducing the number of compatibility issues that the IT department will have to face in order to keep end users working.
For the IT Asset Management function, a wider array of devices and applications means more difficulty in ensuring and demonstrating software license compliance. With employees using personal licenses or unlicensed applications in the workplace there is high risk of a software audit uncovering license anomalies that can translate into hefty fines.
You can read more about the top 7 ITSM trends in our latest whitepaper.