BYOT: What It Means for IT

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Bring your own Technology: An Introduction

BYOT, or "bring your own technology" - also simply known as BYO or "bring your own device" (BYOD) - is more than just an IT trend: It’s a new a way of life. And while BYOT may have its roots with executives, who’ve long demanded the ability to use the latest mobile devices for work, it has spread among the ranks, along with the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers. The catchphrase often heard in discussions of BYOT is "consumerization of IT." In other words, it’s no longer just the geeks or the execs that want the best technology.

Not long ago, employees were thrilled simply to have a company phone. Now, employees become angry when stuck with anything other than the latest and greatest models. As people increase dependence on personal mobile devices in many life areas, it’s no wonder they want to be able to access company emails and applications without giving up the convenience of their favorite devices.

After all, these are devices they’ve chosen, are comfortable with and are already integrated into many areas of their lives. The company provided Blackberry will no longer do for the guy who is in love with his iPhone. It makes perfect sense, so it’s little wonder that many companies are making the decision to allow and support BYOT.

Or, at least, that’s the pitch from management.

It’s all nice in theory, but who takes the support call when that weird version of Android can’t connect? Who deals with the plethora of devices and ensures they play nicely with that old legacy accounting system and the new cloud CRM solution? In practice, it’s just not that easy.

But it’s reality.

This means that IT departments must find ways to make it work, which can be a tall order when it comes to BYOT's unique hurdles.

Here, we take a look at BYOT, the challenge it presents in IT and how companies can begin to implement it successfully. (Also, how will BYOT affect IT workers? Read more in The Consumerization of IT Will Continue to Hurt Prospects for IT Workers.)

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Written by Tara Struyk
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Tara Struyk is a senior editor at and a freelance editor, blogger and writer for hire. She specializes in writing about personal finance, investing, careers and consumer technology. Likes: The Internet, espresso and running. Dislikes: Typos, debt and domestic vehicles.