We’ve seen the powerful emergence of the ‘Bring Your Own Devices‘ (BYOD) movement and how it is affecting companies and how they deal with their employees and security policies. There is currently another movement that seems to be just as powerful and it is currently gaining ground on a daily basis. We can call it ‘Bring Your Own Services‘ (BYOS) as it is comprised of companies that allow employees to perform company work on their own devices, using their own choice of services.
What is BYOS movement?
In a recent survey by IDC, more than half of the companies surveyed allow their employees to perform company work on their own devices and they provide support for them. And, it’s not so much about company-required services anymore; the newest trend is to allow employees to use their own services. For instance, the company IT may prefer that everybody uses Sharepoint but the employee may be more comfortable using Evernote. Two similar services – one on-premise one in cloud – with the same result. However, by allowing the employee to use the cloud service that they are most comfortable with, the work is more likely to be completed in an efficient and timely manner with fewer mistakes. This is the BYOS movement.
50% of companies allow BYOD – but what about BYOS?
In reality, companies will eventually have to support this movement. Companies should provide support for multiple services on various devices in order to continue improving productivity and creativity of their employees. Creativity may need to be used in order to make important company data safe and secure while at the same time providing employees the access that they need. This is important in order to remain competitive in the company’s industry, while also providing the technical abilities of the BYOS movement to attract fresh, talented workers and yet keeping company data secure.
The leading services used by companies employees are Evernote, Dropbox (known to be forbidden and blocked by many IT but secretly used by many employees), Google Drive, SkyDrive, Basecamp, etc.
Allowing BYOS should increase productivity
By allowing employees to use their own services, companies are affording themselves a new, innovative tool. Employees are more comfortable when they can make the choice to use a service that they are used to. Perhaps they like the interface, the ease of use, additional functions or other favorable aspects of an app or service; but whatever the reason, companies that embrace the BYOS movement will find that their workers have a higher work ethic, project completion rate and satisfactory content.
As an alternative method, some companies have tried sending out a request for information from their employees, evaluating the responses and then making a decision based on the majority vote. This is a bad idea for a variety of reasons- the biggest being that it’s costly, untimely and inefficient; plus it’s more than likely that majority vote will still leave some unhappy employees. The BYOS movement is the solution to all of these problems.
Don’t forget security
Security should not be overlooked of course. Data storage, data access and data transfer should still be made secure and in complete compliance with the company’s policies and procedures but this can be accomplished while allowing workers to use their own services.
Accomplished platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and SalesForce provide much of the structure that the BYOS movement is built on. Ordering workers to conform to company required services just stifles their creativity and forces them into a one-way thought process. This can equate to money being lost, time being wasted and projects not being completed as efficiently or as high-quality as can be expected if the employees are turned loose to complete the work using the service they are most efficient using.
The BYOS movement is a powerful trend that is surging through the corporate world at a high rate of speed. We can’t stop it and shouldn’t try to slow it down. Embrace it, jump on the train and ride this out for all it’s worth.