Bring your own IT evolves from BYOD

Devices were just the tip of the iceberg. Constant connectivity and cloud computing make it easier than ever to bring your own IT wherever you go.

In this era of terabyte-plus USB drives, cloud computing and high-performing client devices, bring your own IT is a lot easier than most people think.

Many workers -- carpenters, mechanics, even technical professionals -- bring their own tools to work.  These workers have pride of ownership and a constant willingness to maintain, upgrade, streamline and innovate. Knowing that one's toolset is always available, appropriate, familiar and in good working order increases productivity and quality of the product or service delivered.

The bring your own phenomenon should extend well beyond tools and devices.

A corresponding concept, BYOD, has been a fixture in the business world for some time now. Many firms embrace or at least allow the practice of employees using their personal computers, smartphones and tablets. Organizations can lower their capital budgets, and workers can use devices that they like and are most productive with. Even support costs can be lower, at least with the right mobility management strategy and tools in place.

The bring your own phenomenon should extend well beyond tools and devices. It's always been my goal to achieve mobility nirvana: having my entire organizational infrastructure be mobile. The idea of being able to accomplish a particular task only when in the office is painful at best.

Information, applications and connectivity are the keys that open the door to this era of bring your own everything (BYOx). I travel a good deal and work on several projects at once. I must have everything I need available at a moment's notice no matter where I might be. Some professionals have been doing this for some time. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Years ago I designed a complete IT solution for a disaster relief agency. The idea was to have a facility that could be dropped out of a plane, set up in minutes, backhauled by satellite, interconnected by pre-Wi-Fi WLANs and powered by generators -- truly a bring your own IT scenario.
  • For years, field-audit teams (technical, financial and beyond) have arrived at a client site and set up their own IT infrastructure -- a basic requirement given the task at hand, where independence is critical. All it takes is an access point equipped with a cellular router (which is really easy today), and the rest is PCs and software. The entire infrastructure can be on the air in minutes.

Of course, BYOx could be viewed as a rogue operation without proper clearance from IT where required. But the trend is going to see a massive increase in popularity over the next few years, driven by BYOD and the amazing range of capabilities now available in the cloud.

All one needs is a mobile device and some form of connectivity, and the rest can be provisioned, managed and maintained entirely in the virtual domain. Bring your own IT is the gateway to mobility nirvana.

Next Steps

What is bring your own technology?

Plan for the future of mobility

Consider these four BYOD challenges

Dig Deeper on Enterprise mobility strategy and policy