The Fundamental Revolution Lying Beneath BYOD

I recently read a great article published by BoostZone Institute and written by Dominique Turcq. I found the article so interesting I not only read the article but also spoke to its author. In the article Dominique Turcq described in a more clear sited way than anyone else I’ve personally met what the shift to BYOD is saying about the fundamental relationship between the employer and the employee.

Turcq uses other trends like BYOT, BYOP, BYON, BYOF, BYOS, BYOM and finally BYAAA to describe what that fundamental relationship change is. I would add work at home to this bowl of alphabet soup. Work at Home and BYOD are intricately connected and they both refer to the same change in corporate America.

Okay. What does all this BYO stuff mean anyway. I’ll let you read the article, but these acronyms stand for the following:

  • BYOT- Bring your own tools
  • BYOP- Bring your own social profile
  • BYON – Bring your own network
  • BYOF – Bring your own fun
  • BYOS – Bring your own skills
  • BYOM – Bring your own magic
  • And finally the culmination of it all BYAAA- Bring yourself as an asset

Some of the above list lands closer to home for me than others.

Social networking is allowing employees to build their own brand beyond that of their employer. The employees knowledge, ideas and vision, freely shared via social networking, gives that employee value to other partners, companies, peers and colleagues beyond that of the structure of the employees company.

The employees network is closely aligned with social networking, as well. The network owned by each employee is something that they’ve nurtured and built. It exists before and after their lives with their corporations. I believe one’s network at the C level has always been important. However, social networking is pushing the power of networking down stream, making it just as important for the director, manager and individual contributor.

I asked Turcq about the fundamental change that the employer must make in response to this shift. He replied that I should, instead, be asking “what is the new definition of an employer?”

In his response Turcq was pointing to the “new forms of work from contractual rather than full-time, to swarm work/ virtual work/ crowdsourcing of skills, etc.” He pointed out that Odesk, Topcoder,  and Amazon are all putting these new forms of work in place. “In a way”, Turcq says, “they (these new forms of  work) help transform individuals, and their skills, into ‘Assets on Demand’ “. He feels that companies are beginning to relate to their people as assets.

This brings me back to work at home. W@H pushes organizations to measure employees by their productivity only,  increases the autonomy of the employee and, yes, fundamentally changes the relationship between the employee and the employer… just like BYOD.

Of course one of the main enablers of BYOD and the virtualization of the employee is the cloud. Neither would be possible (or I should say, neither would be possible to any degree of quality and security) without the cloud. Saleforce, Citrix, Google, Microsoft and Amazon like technologies are quickly becoming the glue that holds us together.

How do you feel about this shift in the definition of an employer and the relationship to the employee. Is it a good thing?… Or not? I look forward to your feedback.

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