March 20, 2013, 7:29 PM —
Does BYOD really mean Bring Your own Android or Bring Your own iOS? That's the possible conclusion I get after reading Nancy Gohring's excellent post on CITEWorld today, which talks about the reality of BYOD -- that IT departments are going to be hard-pressed to support anything beyond Android and iOS (Apple iPhones and iPad) devices.
Why? So far no third-platform device has emerged with enough market penetration to make it necessary for IT departments to add more BYOD support. Windows phones and tablets and the resurgent BlackBerry platform may emerge as competitive threats in the near future, but in the short term it's going to mainly be an Android and Apple world, according to analysts and product developers quoted in the story.
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. We could be at the natural end of an evolutionary curve for smartphones and tablets -- it certainly seems that way, with little differentiation between the top offerings these days. The good thing about a BYOD mindset, as the article says, is that it leaves open the possibility for adding more platform support -- as opposed to, say, the old days when enterprises were often "a Windows shop" or "a Unix shop" without much flexibility.
My question is, what is the percentage of device use that makes it necessary for IT to add support -- is it a numbers thing, or could it be something like when the iPads first arrived and C-level execs bought them, necessitating corporate IT support? My initial reaction is that iOS and Android support gives employees plenty of BYOD options. Let Windows phones and BlackBerrys earn their support by proving their worth in the BYOD marketplace first.
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