Is BYOD Hurting App Transformation?

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In order to make work environments more comfortable, flexible, and productive for employees, enterprises who’ve taken on the mobile transformation journey are increasingly moving to bring your own device (BYOD) environments.

And while that brings with it a variety of efficiencies and abilities for mobile employees, especially those working remotely or traveling often, there’s one specific challenge mobile administrators are facing. Having to manage and secure a variety of devices and operating systems has now become one of the biggest challenges IT teams are facing, and obtaining the proper solution to harness all that information can be daunting.

See related: Mobile Innovation Has Become An OS Nightmare

So the question now becomes, while BYOD is a great asset, is it slowing down a quickly-evolving mobile application transformation enterprises need to push production forward?

“Ownership models for mobile devices are still all over the map,” said Eric Klein, Analyst with VDC Research. “Many organizations offer certain employees a smartphone (and in some cases a tablet as well); things often get more complicated for the element of their workforce that requires the device for a specific workflow – or workers that are in a role that is customer-facing and requires transactional elements (e.g., signature capture or a purchase).”

But what has begun to truly take shape is the way apps are created and provisioned. For some companies, like Alaska Airlines for example, where iPhones and iPads are deployed to the workforce, it’s simpler for the IT team to design and deploy the apps it’s been churning out to a single platform.

In other cases, where hybrid platforms – BYOD and COPE flexibility – are encouraged for the sake of best user experience, IT teams are being forced to create OS-agnostic apps and push them through a mobile application management (MAM) system.

A trustworthy MAM may be the only thing separating an app’s full potential from its audience, and is now more necessary than ever for enterprise teams.

“If you’re going to be serious about deploying mobile apps for your employees, you must invest in (research of development) heavily,” said Jeff Fox, Solutions Architect with Marriott International. “Support issues rise up quickly, and organizations need the infrastructure and support teams in place to manage that.”

Of course each application, its administration, deployment style, and life cycle management all comes down to the particular enterprise doing the work, and its choice of which devices will be installing the new programs.

“An organization’s application intentions and requirements have quickly become a key element of the equation; particularly for organizations that are modernizing applications and intend to leverage mobile platforms for a larger segment of their workforce.”

BYOD is going to expand as the years go on, just as passwords will diminish and IoT will become the new normal. While it may feel like a roadblock on the way to app transformation today, the proper solutions will likely increase an enterprises ability to be truly device and operating system agnostic, regardless of mobile environment.