BYOD, BYOS, BYOData : C2B within the enterprise
It is well-known now, especially in the area of the digital economy, that we have a shortage of talents. Companies have to make a lot of efforts to attract good but rare candidates. At the same time, in the context of economic crisis, they prioritize people with high-level skills and experience, which requires specific recruitment strategies.
Meanwhile, enterprises inner architecture is jostled by the market demands: they are expected to be more committed, to deliver faster and to adapt in real-time to a fast-paced ever-changing demand. Currently, structural flexibility and production capability are success keys in the context of a very aggressive global market. These requirements leave no choice but to redefine the core processes of the organizations, and of course the relationship between employers and employees.
In short: especially for innovative and fast growing companies, recruitment has become a complex problem. You have to know how to attract future employees by meeting their expectations and also how to take most advantage from newcomers’ talents.
In this context, it is not surprising to see the rise of a new management trend, already very popular in Silicon Valley: BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). It means that an organization authorizes or invites employees to come to work with their personal devices, sometimes even offering them some kind of compensation. The goal is not to make equipment savings, but to allow the employees to be immediately operational, by bringing their personal hardware, already configured to work as they are used to.
Obviously, this type of agreement only applies to specific sectors of activity. Basically : the digital economy. It is mostly offered to independent employees, with high technical skills or to decision makers.
BYOD phenomenon has become possible because the situation changed the past few years : almost everyone now is equipped with personal computers (especially in the digital sector) and mobile equipment (laptops, tablets and smartphones). Material capacity is no longer an issue for most of the tasks (it is currently possible to make a HD movie… with your smartphone!). Even more noticeable: devices personally owned by your coworkers is often better than any other provided by your organization.
New generation professionals carry their own devices anytime anywhere, whether during work hours, leisure or rest. To convince yourself, you just need to look how the demand for high tech accessories is increasing, from computer luggage, bags, backpacks, wallets to any other kind of protection: this flourishing market demonstrates that mobile lifestyle is spreading fast. Young professionals are emotionally bound with their communication equipment: today, your smartphone is a key part of your social status & life, people « customize » their laptop with stickers or with personal wallpapers, they buy new cases to personalize their tablets… This emotional link does not exist when using the equipment companies provide.
It explains why the demand for personal equipment comes mainly from the employees themselves. In fact, the demand for BYOD solutions is often employees’ initiative, not employers’.
In that sense, BYOD is a major C2B phenomenon (Coworker-to-Business).
Before being a theory, BYOD is known as a fact: it’s been ages since laptops are hidden in backpacks under desks, since smartphones are used to chat on social networks without the employer knowing, and since the 3G-connected tablets allow e-shopping despite the blocking policy of corporate computer networks. Talking about BYOD within companies is simply clarifying a reviewal situation. And if possible, taking advantage of it.
More broadly, BYOD is part of a wider social change : from work salaries based on time calculation to flat fees based on atomized missions completion. Many young professionals are also after hours entrepreneurs (especially part-time workers and interns) and you can often meet them in co-working spaces. New methods appear to self-organize work, they challenge conventional rules : all activities mingle along the day, projects are no longer separated from each other. It is usual now to see an associate or a colleague at the office, making professional phone calls in plain sight about personal business…
This new approach obviously aims further than the simple BYOD concept which focuses on the hardware (device). The type of equipment used by employees is not the main issue here. What is important and beneficial to the company, is their mastery level and their software usage. Here is the real interest of BYOD: employees bring their softwares with their devices, those they already use, those they can bring immediately to their new company.
So, in our opinion, it would be more accurate, at least, to talk about BYOS phenomenon (Bring Your Own Software) and beyond that, we should talk about BYOData (Bring Your Own Data): that is, all the personal and professional data equally brought by individuals and organizations for their public and private use.
By the way, new software solutions appear on the market, inspired by BYOS and BYOData usage. They have very specific features: simple, accessible, effective, cheap, and above all, with collaborative and integration capabilities and a reasonable degree of compatibility. In our experience, this type of software must target individuals first (with low price / high quality ratio), solving in a simple way a critical and well-identified problem, and providing a concrete benefit that users can clearly see.
Once they use such kind of softwares, end-users start recommending them to colleagues and friends, since their collaborative features are meant to build everyone’s personal network. And in general with the company agreement: networking is not imposed to but accepted by users, gradually built with no special training requirement, and for a much smaller cost compared with custom development within the company. On this level, software compatibility is a key feature, allowing to operate with the corporate CRM and ERP systems.
With Vigisys, we develop professional softwares according to the principles of BYOS and C2B: modular and mutually compatible softwares, with social and collaborative features. Our new Web-service Ubixr.com (beta launch in late spring this year) is the first solution totally designed with this new approach to professional software: C2B, standing at the same time for Coworker-, Consumer-, even Citizen-to-Business.