BYOD workplaces are happening whether enterprise is ready or not

November 11, 2014

A key feature of many trends, once they gain traction, is the sense of inevitability they engender. Tech trends in particular are interesting because one can hear the commentators on both sides entering into pitched combat over its impact in the world – some say the trend is a passing fad, others say it is the wave of the future.

In the early days of the Internet, several pundits laughed the nascent technology off as a novelty – a curiosity that would generate some buzz and then die in anonymity. Over the last few years, we saw the same sorts of conversations around cloud computing. The cloud, once derided as a fringe technology, is now an integral part of the workplace in businesses of all sizes.

BYOD follows the same pattern
The BYOD workplace isn't strictly a tech trend – there are cultural factors that come into play as well. BYOD, or bring your own device, is a workplace practice that allows employees to use their own devices to access company files and information, communicate and collaborate on in-process projects. The technology – mobile devices, personal computers and even wearables – combine with new worker preferences to be able to work when, where and how they see fit.

A large number of IT departments and enterprises have been reluctant to buy in to the BYOD workplace. Tech Republic reported that managers and executives still harbor concerns about security as employees use their own devices on possibly unsecured networks. But like the Internet and the cloud before it, the BYOD workplace has an air of inevitability about it that may sweep even the unwilling along.

Ready or not, here comes the BYOD
IT is afraid to relinquish control to the rest of the company by allowing them to use their own devices and public cloud solutions that fall outside the purview of IT's authority. According to TMCNet, whether companies have official BYOD policies in place or not, employees are taking their workplace into their own hands, doing whatever it takes to get the job done in the most efficient way possible.

It may be best for IT departments to concede that the BYOD trend has gained sufficient enough traction that it is worth going along with it rather than continue to resist it. Enterprises should be proactive and make official BYOD policies to take back some level of control before it's too late.