March 2013
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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

will Change the Marketplace

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor
 


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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives have been in the news a lot lately as companies continue to find new ways of reducing infrastructure costs and improving employee retention/satisfaction.  The workplace as we know it is evolving and changing into a more technology savvy social business structure.  We can see this with the acceptance of BYOD concepts sweeping into almost every industry vertical.  The integration of web apps and cloud based software running as services means that individuals want to use the latest hardware to take advantages of this technology.  We have become a society of “information on-demand” people. We want our data, we want it now, and we want it on our phones and tablets.

This also means that the nature of a “typical” work day changes as well.  No longer are individuals shackled to desktops and forced to complete work within a nine to five time period.  Mobile data means that the working individual now has the ability to work at all hours of the day.  Now I won’t get into the issues of how that work day could be structured in this article, but who amongst us has not responded to work emails on their smartphone before turning in for the night? We are almost all guilty of it, and we do it because we have the means to do it right at our finger tips and we like it.  We like it so much that we take our personal devices to work under BYOD policies because it empowers us to be more efficient. We work with the systems and operating systems that we want to use, not the ones that we are forced to use. 

What this means is that companies who adopt BYOD strategies will more than likely be subsidizing their employees for the purchase of their devices. We are all human and we all know that the new shiny toys in the workplace create a little device envy, and pressure to toe the line.

The business world was typically a very Microsoft oriented world based on Windows as an operating system. Being creatures of habit, we naturally keep the same type of behaviour outside of work. A person used to using Windows at work will probably purchase a PC running Windows for home. That also means that any searching of the web would be done in a Microsoft Explorer browser.

Now with the popularity of Apple’s iPad there is going to be a shift.  Apple’s Mac was always thought of as the “artsy” platform by business and Industrial Automation. A platform embraced only by those seeking artistic endeavours such as: web designers, media, animation etc. Real computing power came from PC’s. Ask what any manager wants now and the first word spoken is – iPad! Currently Apple iPads hold 53.8% of the tablet market share according to a recent article on www.brg.com written by Zach Epstein.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Android tablets captured 39% of the market share in their online article entitled HP, Samsung to Offer New Android Tablets.

This means that a market that was once led by consumer choices could now be led by large companies implementing BYOD policies.

What this means to marketers constructing strategies for the coming years is that they need to consider these trends.  They will have to pay attention to the data war that will be fought for marketing dollars between companies like: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.  These companies provide results based on the type of data that they receive from devices running their platforms.  An employee who is in a Microsoft BYOD environment will be using Bing to conduct searches for results.  As I stated before we are human and therefore creatures of habit. If I use Bing on all of my devices at work to conduct my searches then going home to use Google on my home laptop to conduct a search is really going to take a conscious effort.

The BYOD adoption in the workplace is going to seriously change where advertising and marketing dollars are spent and may very well result in some great marketing opportunities. It will force marketers and digital strategists to think about how they build their strategies. It will no doubt lead to an increased ability to perform internal marketing of product releases and new services as social media becomes integrated into an internal structure though BYOD policies. 

It will also encourage the development of new strategies based around all three major platforms. That would be a good thing. How does a company website rank on each search engine per platform? How it appears on all devices, and does it retain functionality.

Reliable Controls Now there are those that will completely argue with the thoughts in this article.  I welcome all opinions, but I have to say that I am a converted individual. From previous articles I made no bones about being a “total” Blackberry guy. Used a Blackberry since it was black and white, and had that clunky side scroll button. Loved them, mainly because that is what everyone in business used. Then the iPhone came out, and I could not even think about switching to one. Blackberry was the business phone in my mind. As I have changed jobs over the past few years I have worked with people who are employed by companies who embrace BYOD policies.  Now I have a Samsung phone with an Android operating systems powered by Google search, and my once trusted Blackberry Playbook is collecting dust on my coffee table. I am seeing the increased functionality in these new devices, and because that is what my colleagues are using and it makes it easier for me to interact with them and work on projects.  Currently I can’t decide between an iPad or an Android tablet, but am leaning iPad because that is what most companies that I deal with are choosing when they choose a tablet. That transition alone has redefined the way that I search for products and services.  I’m only one individual; imagine entire corporations making changes like I have? BYOD in the workplace…it will be a game changer. Definitely a trend to watch for the next few years to see which engine reigns supreme for search ranking results.

It also means that marketers have the opportunity to truly market to perspective clients 24/7 through email, and social media channels, as that tablet and smartphone that you brought into work today is going home tonight. Given the instant availability of data the smartphone and tablet that went to the office with you and will probably be the last two things you see before turning off the light. We are an information powered world now, and it is truly a marketer’s environment to build brands and influence the technology trends that will shape business for the years to come.

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