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BYOD near death? Surely you jest

Karen Goulart

Bloggers say the darnedest things. In my Searchlight search this week, I came across a blog post with a proclamation that made me pause -- that BYOD could be dying. A pain for IT? A security risk for the company? Undoubtedly. But dying? There's no way this vibrant, wily little rascal called BYOD is on its deathbed. To suggest such a thing is tantamount to saying BYOD is just some buzzword.

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Karen Goulart

OK, BYOD (or "bring your own device") is a buzzword, but it's en route to becoming the norm. In IT, as in most industries, there are buzzwords and there are trends -- and then there are the things that last. A buzzword, if it has some substance to it, one day stops flitting about and grows some legs. With a little traction, it becomes a trend. The best of trends will dig in their heels and become TWWCDW -- that which we can't do without. I just made that up and am certain it won't catch on. But the point is that every "legacy" system or app or way of working had to start somewhere. Even ERP was once a fresh-faced new concept on the scene, and more than two decades later it's still the lead actor in the business. BYOD possesses that same potential for a long, legendary career.

That's why CIOs have to be careful about being too dismissive. It's hard to avoid being cynical while being inundated on a daily basis about the next big thing you should have had yesterday in order to keep up tomorrow. But ignoring this buzzword will almost certainly come back to sting you.

Check out SearchCIO.com's own coverage of these topics

Is managing BYOD a waste of the CIO's time?

CIOs scrambling to adapt mobile device management to a BYOD era

ID management tool reinforces BYOD policy tailored to user needs

Even the irreverent blogger ends up taking BYOD seriously. Once the author gets past the sensational question of BYOD's life expectancy, he hits on what the real question ought to be: How can companies afford to sustain BYOD in terms of cost and needed bandwidth? These are the very questions that inform a BYOD strategy, which in turn is the very thing required to keep the phenomenon going strong.

So much for my post-mortem on the mortality of BYOD. A more interesting, and possibly more realistic, musing on the longevity of a trend can be found in this week's second item. Tom Simonite at the MIT Technology Review suggests we're witnessing the dying days of mobile apps as we know them. Perhaps it's Siri's revenge for being labeled a fad herself.

  • If BYOD is dying, it sure has a funny way of showing it.
  • With Siri and GoogleNow, you literally might never again lift a finger to find information on a mobile device.
  • One of the less controversial dramatizations in the Oscar-nominated flick Zero Dark Thirty was the U.S. government's use of "big data." A breakdown of the steps the Pentagon follows (and Fortune 500 companies too) is shared in this decidedly uncontroversial article.
  • Before investing in that pickaxe and lighted helmet, slow down and figure out whether data mining is actually valuable to your business.
  • All eyes were on the Ravens and 49ers last Sunday -- until the lights went out and thousands of peepers turned to Twitter. Another "Supersize" lesson on how valuable social media can be to the business.
  • Here's the thing about Vine: It doesn't matter if it's as useful and amazing as the author says -- or as useless and stupid as the commenters shout back. A lot of people are using it, so you need to know about it.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, Features Writer.