As someone who regularly struggles to bring my own lunch to the office (despite numerous New Year's resolutions and Tupperware purchases), I have to confess that I think I may be some way off bringing in my own device.
On a recent training course, I opted to travel light by taking my own iPad and leaving the laptop at home. To my surprise, I was able to survive. I am also certain that the technology will come of age.
The trouble is that enabling the technology is only a small part of the change required. Much like bringing your own lunch, it sounds good in theory but can be problematic in practice. I draw some comparisons from my recent experience:
You need to set aside preparation time
Preparing my lunch for the next day requires a bit of thought, not least trying to work out what I think I might want to eat by the time midday comes.
Similarly, when I packed my iPad instead of my laptop, I had to think very carefully about the work I would be doing the next day.
Would I be able to access everything that I need? What would I do if someone asked me to work on a document that my iPad wouldn't be able to load?
It might taste a bit different
In the same way that I am not capable of rustling up a coffee shop-quality chunky soup, there are differences between my own device and the corporate offering.
I found myself pining for my trusty laptop on more than one occasion in order to do just that little bit more.
You have to find a suitable container
When using your own device, you need something to 'contain' the IT services on the device to allow them to be used securely.
Much like my collection of Tupperware, your company needs to select the right one for the job. Without a container, you are really limited to basic webmail (or soup all over the inside of your work bag).
Everyone else's looks better than yours
As I place my carefully crafted delicacy in the fridge, I often find myself envious of the leftover tagine with couscous occupying the top shelf.
As organisations move to BYOD, will this spawn a new wave of device envy? Someone on the training course has brought with them their iPad 3. I already feel inferior - no one judges or takes any notice of my trusty laptop!
From the outset, BYOD seems like a great idea. But as with many things, there are a few obstacles that I need to overcome, even when the technology is available.
Adam Stringer is an IT expert at PA Consulting Group
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