Bring Your Own Device is either viewed as a problem, a mandate to accommodate new ways to collaborate, or a statement of the obvious depending on if you are an IT director, a manager in the enterprise, or an end-user. If you are commissioned with security and reliable maintenance of a large network, the idea that people are brining their own devices into meetings and want to connect to your network can be terrifying – if you think I am being dramatic, take a read through some of the posts on LinkedIn’s BYOD group. Yet, if your organization is looking to compete with more effective, creative meetings, then the trend simply needs to be accommodated. If you are trying to be effective and creative – well then – its sort of obvious that you want to do be able to work from your own device and even giving that desire such a lofty title seems a bit overkill.
Although corporate enterprises are working through the BYOD issues, I’d argue that the real leaders in this area don’t come from the world’s large a companies, but the worlds largest educational institutions. If you want to find a place where tens of thousands of personal devices are hitting a network that needs to support them, look at any decent-sized campus. I’ve been meeting with a large number of higher education institutions to discuss how they plan on deploying our software in the classroom and conference rooms throughout the campus and I’ve come away impressed by the leadership role academic institutes are taking to support students who want to learn, collaborate, and share with the devices they already own.
Whether it’s new policy directives from their IT provost that are designed to support BYOD, or forward thinking IT teams at the college level, a lot is being done to overcome the BYOD challenge. By way of example, Princeton has been aware of the trend for more than 5 years and views BYOD as a catalyst for change. See their blog post here.
Viewing BYOD as an opportunity versus a problem is a great starting point. If you are a corporation that is trying to adopt BYOD policies, I strongly encourage you to look to the progress underway at large academic institutions as a positive example. Some of the Mersive team is at the Campus Technology conference this week and I look forward to hearing more about how educators and administrators are embracing collaboration software, wireless presentation and media sharing and BYOD in higher education to enliven the next-generation’s educational experience.