By John Hanay
Director, Product Development

To better understand bring your own device (BYOD) and whether it will have a lasting impact on businesses, we need to examine what lead to the rise of BYOD, namely the adoption of tablet computing by the consumer market. I exclude smartphones from BYOD since they have been around for over a decade and tablets are the real driver toward a new computing paradigm.

Tablet computing is not a new. Rather, it has found a home in the consumer market. Prior attempts focused on business, which failed in part due to immature technology as well as business had an established and accepted computing model centered on a mouse and keyboard.

Apple was the first to take the tablet form-factor and focus on content consumption for consumers, and thereby able to capitalize on the broad scope of content in iTunes.

This reverses the trends of the past where businesses were the first to adopt technology as a means to improve overall efficiency. Today, employees as consumers are the ones introducing new technology into the workplace. This underlies the challenges facing businesses in keeping pace with these advancements and understanding how to apply them to improve employee productivity without compromising the policies and procedures in place to ensure data security and compliance with government regulations.

A major obstacle for tablet-based computing as a viable replacement for traditional computing in business, is the existing application model is focused on a mouse and keyboard. Another way to view this is to examine content creation versus content consumption.

There is no doubt that tablet computing is well suited for content consumption with lightweight content creation. And not all employees or job functions are content creators; in fact, the majority of employees are consumers of content in the workplace. It would be relatively easy for businesses to issue tablets to employees in addition to, or as a replacement for, laptops/desktops given the total cost of ownership difference between a tablet and a laptop.

And herein lies the death of BYOD: all businesses need to do is to adopt tablets as an accepted computing platform for their employees and shift BYOD to company issued equipment.

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