Research giant Gartner is warning customers against considering BYOD purely as a way to ease their IT purchasing woes, underlining that its place is to support innovation.
Darryl Carlton, research director at Gartner, said business customers and their IT providers simply must make decisions about BYOD based on what they want from their applications architecture and from solution design.
"Designing your applications to meet the demands of BYOD is not the same as setting usage policies or having strategic sourcing plans that mandate a particular platform," Carlton warned.
"BYOD should be a design principle that provides you with a vendor-neutral applications portfolio and a flexible, future-proof architecture. If the applications exhibit technical constraints that limit choice and limit deployment, the purchasing policy is irrelevant."
Many organisations want to become more mobile, although many do not know where to start or how to navigate the obstacles. The whole area of BYOD needs to be approached more broadly, he said.
"The community of users has expanded to include suppliers, customers, employees and a very broad range of stakeholders," Carlton indicated. "We are no longer developing applications for deployment to an exclusive user base over which we exert standards and control."
Organisations often have contractors and other external professionals and part-timers to consider as well as full-time employees. At the same time, businesses, government bodies and other organisations have porous boundaries today as processes and end-user behaviour blur and evolve.
"It is increasingly clear that the IT organisation no longer has absolute control over the tools used to access the corporate systems and data," according to Carlton.
So what's the answer? Gartner says that what it calls "global-class" computing will help. This means designing systems and architectures that extend computing processes outside the business and to what consumers and business partners do, as well as mobile workers. Apps and services must be bot flexible and inclusive, simpler and cheaper, the research giant opines.
"BYOD is an indication that internal IT is not providing adequate support for a segment of the user population and they are seeking alternatives elsewhere," Carlton said.
"BYOD, bring your own application, and cloud adoption are leading indicators of long-term structural change occurring in the industry, not a few errant staff demanding their favourite brand of technology."
More information is available in a Gartner special report, The Mobile Imperative: Mobile Application Strategies and Architecture.
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