First-Mover Advantage and BYOStuff

I still feel like a bit of a wanker pulling out my ipad in meetings…

…lamented the author of a recent tweet i found interesting because the stigma of the tablet has all but disappeared from my:

  • Work: where tablets are quite prevalent, with about as many being company-provided as are personally-owned devices, and the defining behaviour in my jaundiced eyes is not producing a tablet in a meeting or a workshop (that’s a good thing) but having it sitting on the desk as a beacon of status and having, or being fiddled with impotently, or being neglected as too hard in favour of a paper notebook, rather than being used for productive common good work.
  • Community: at conferences and other events the tablet ratio is much higher than at my work, but so too is the ratio of productive use in note-taking, micro-blogging for the benefit of remote attendees and colleagues back home, researching background information on the fly, fine-tuning presentations, and for sharing with other attendees.
  • Industry: Stephen Prentice, in his Gartner research note Technology Trends That Matter† that for media tablets:
    • First-mover advantage has already passed [and] it no longer garners the attention and buzz that it did in 2010, to the point where not using a tablet is likely to be more commented on.
  • Society: during my morning public-transport commute to work it’s become unusual not to see at least one passenger using a tablet, though they’re generally consuming news, social media streams, or ebooks rather than participating or being involved in content creation.

This tip-of-the-iceberg aspect of consumerisation-meets-the-enterprise in Bring-Your-Own-Device is quickly being echoed in non-physical domains, such as:

  • Bring Your Own Identity, whether that’s a governmental or commercial identity-proofing service, or whether that’s from something like Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Bring Your Own Productivity Software, from the likes of Google, Dropbox, and Evernote and from the as-a-service subscriptions to teamware such as Basecamp or code libraries on github.

With the first-mover advantage already well behind us on the device front, it’s likely we’ve already missed the boat in understanding (first priority) and providing guiding governance (second priority) how to get the best for everybody out of the BYOStuff stack.

† Prentice, S. (2011) Technology Trends That Matter, Gartner Research, Article G00212538

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