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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
will Change the Marketplace
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
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.
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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