Decisions Blog

Did BYOD kill the IT guy?

Companies are starting to warm to the idea of their employees using their own devices.  A recent study by Network World found that Fortune 500 companies are now allowing their employees greater freedom when it comes to what devices they work from.  However, they are still requiring certain security measures to be in place.

With this shift occurring, it does beg the question; are bring your own device policies killing the need for a robust IT department?

Personally, I work from my iPad at home, my phone while on the road or at meetings, and my laptop when sitting at a desk.  I own all three pieces of equipment, and if none of them are available, I can usually find a machine to access my email and certain client portals.  Since I own all the devices, and I’m intimately aware of their capabilities and their maintenance, why would I need someone else working on them?

 

In fact, I believe that employees are becoming protective of their devices.  They would rather not have an IT guy poking around on their personal laptop or phone.  Just from these two aspects of BYOD you can see how the demand for a full time IT person could start to diminish.  

 

But it gets even worse for the IT professional.  Networking is becoming increasingly wireless and centralized.  Therefore, a group of IT workers becomes superfluous when there is only one machine to maintain.

 

This does bring up another problem.  Who will manage security if devices are becoming harder to track and access is becoming easier to achieve?

 

Software is the logical answer.  Enterprise software will have to evolve and adapt to this changing landscape.  It faces the challenge of becoming more open, while still maintaining security measures.  Thus, the next evolution we see in the enterprise space will most likely be the software.  

 

The next generation of software will have to be built on robust business rules platforms.  The software will have to be practically intuitive to handle the demands of a BYOD environment.  

While the IT department might end up shrinking, the opportunity for the development space to fill that gap is definitely there.  It will be interesting to see the innovations that come from this shift in power.