A momentous thing may have occurred yesterday. I returned from what should be my last trip of 2013. I just came back from a very quick, yet productive, trip to Europe. During one of the meetings, a conversation that was taking place made me think about the whole notion of BYOA (Bring Your Own Apps). Just like many conversations, blog posts and press articles have shifted from talking about MDM to MAM (Mobile Application Management), there is an equal level of discussion shifting from BYOD to BYOA (Bring Your Own Apps).
But what if there were another BYOA – Build Your Own Apps.
You’re probably saying to yourself “But Philippe, the concept of Build Your Own Apps has been around ever since the dawn of mobile application development and there are tons of solutions out there to build mobile apps….this isn’t a new concept.”
While this line of thinking is a very valid point, I’m thinking about a slight twist on mobile application development.
Now let’s add another component to the equation behind my thinking. The original concept of Bring YOA is predicated on the thought that we as individuals are frustrated by the fact that IT is moving too slowly (or is fundamentally against) providing us the tools that we want/need to be more productive. The classic example is that we often have personal computers or home internet connections that are significantly more powerful than anything your employer is going to provide you. How many companies do you know of that have 100+ megabit internet connections and/or WLANs that run at 300+ megabits per second? They are few and far between.
So back to my thesis. What if your employer is too slow to build a mobile app that you need or think could provide added benefits to your job? The normal route would then be to to hire a contractor and go rogue. This is one of the most frustrating things for IT and for you as the end user. Another scenario could be that your workplace has in fact built a mobile app that is meant to address your need, but it’s not EXACTLY what you’re looking for, or there’s just something not quite right for what you’re looking to accomplish. What if YOU could Build Your Own App without having ANY technical skills what so ever?
What if the IT department had enabled a system whereby all the “connectors” (meaning APIs) were there for you to consume and you could use an incredibly intuitive WYSIWYG tool to then build your own app (with all the security that would be deemed necessary) and then upload it to your employer’s enterprise app store…and crowdsource it to get feedback from others and/or assistance to add even more functionality. This new model of BYOA has at its roots the Consumerization of IT because it’s all about IT unshackling the employees and allowing them to have more say in what tools they’re using to do their work. But the cool twist is that it’s all done in such a fashion whereby the IT department controls the environment so that there is “organized chaos.”
So I will leave you with a question. Could “Build Your Own Apps” be to “BYOA” what COPE is to BYOD (a mechanism to satisfy both the needs of the employees and the employer)?