Never Mind the Buzzwords

The IT industry absolutely loves acronyms and buzz words – ERP, BYOD, Cloud and Big Data being some of the more common, with many more contributing to what I’m sure would be a splendid round of bullshit bingo during meetings.

But the point is that these acronyms go a long way to confuse the heck out of end users.  In fact one of my biggest irks is the general obsession with consistently overcomplicating what really can be simple solutions for businesses.  We tend to get all excited about a new industry buzz word and forget to translate it in real terms for those who need to decipher its uses (or uselessness as may be the case).

So I thought I’d do some ‘jargon busting’ on a current industry buzzword.  BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has already been marred with the dreaded acronym brush.

Of course this only really scratches the surface and I’m sure I’ll find myself going into more detail and exploring more themes in future posts.  If you like this type of post please let me know and I’ll make it my mission to railroad some more industry buzz words in the future.


Bring Your Own Device.  A policy that can allow employees of a company to use their own mobiles, tablets and/or laptops to carry out their work.  A potential cost saving measure, sure.  The fact that staff are using technology they are used to and comfortable with is a massive plus.  But there are vast implications, the biggest of which is security.

At one time it was rare to download anything onto your PC without giving it careful consideration yet now it’s become the accepted norm that it happens on a daily basis, so much so that in many instances little thought is given to the legitimacy of the source.

Our handheld devices have made it easy to share sensitive data automatically.  With BYOD, you can walk into the office, download a spreadsheet to your phone, and walk out with the company’s entire corporate database on something that’s the size of a cassette tape (showing my age now) if you’re not careful (or maybe that was the intention…..)

So what should businesses be considering when looking at BYOD?

It comes down to simple business processes and focussing on what your business really needs.

How many people walked into the office in January and posed the question, “I got an iPad for Christmas, can I get my email on it?’

This is a typical example of people buying the technology first, and then trying to work out how to run their business on it, rather than working out how to run their business and then finding the technology that fits.  So, focus on your business and identify your technology needs, rather than reacting to what’s new in the marketplace.

One of the main reasons why BYOD has become increasingly appealing to businesses is choice – some people like androids, some people like apple, some people, wherever they are, like blackberries (can the last person in the room please shut the lights off on the way out…..).  And if you’re comfortable with using something, the more you’ll use it to benefit the business.

We are always asking people to consider embracing the benefits that new technology brings in order to gain a competitive edge. But think about how this will really impact your business first, and you need to make sure that what you do use is secure – that’s absolutely fundamental.