The market for BYO services has been focused on smartphones and tablet devices primarily running iOS and Android. As the market starts to shift to consider BYO notebooks running Windows, MacOS and Linux we need to think of BYO differently.
With iOS and Android the model above works really well. The operating systems isolate applications and data very well and its much harder for the user to share data between applications on the device. With the Notebook operating systems that is not the case, the whole experience is built around higher degrees of interaction between the applications and the operating system. If we also consider the people who benefit most from BYO then those people are knowledge workers and innovators who will expect a level of interaction between applications; and the view of the device changes when we consider their personal knowledge system (their treasured applications and data). So for a notebook this is what it looks like:
But the challenge with this model is the enterprise view of BYO today, primarily in my view driven by iOS and Android use, is that that container for enterprise data is solid, nothing in, nothing out on the device itself. For me that doesn’t work. Thinking of the use case these are knowledge workers and innovators and the value to the enterprise is the infusion of their personal knowledge assets into the enterprise. The other consideration is the boundary isn’t solid today. Even organizations who lock down USB media don’t lock down email. My experience of BYO layers on notebooks is that the solid boundary causes too many compromises in user experience.
The best approach for me is a permeable layer. Users can store enterprise data within that corporate layer, the enterprise ensures the device meets minimum patch levels, the data can be erased but there is a much better user experience.
Enterprises can then classify properly which data they will allow in the permeable layer and still protect sensitive data by hosting those applications and data making them accessible via virtualization technology. But the less sensitive applications and data are delivered locally and have the user can infuse information from personal knowledge sources into their corporate work.
So the campaign starts here, a permeable layer is what we need for Notebooks 🙂