Government Technology

2012 Year in Review: BYOD



December 11, 2012 By

Editor's note: Over the course of a year, we write hundreds of stories covering myriad topics. And at year's end, we attempt to make sense of it all. We looked for trends that had a profound impact this year — and that are likely to be even more influential in the future. We think our choices fit that mold.

In this Web series, we'll look at social media, which is steadily reshaping how agencies deal with the public; big data, which holds new promise for improving government performance; BYOD, cloud computing and software as a service, all of which are challenging long-held assumptions for how agencies acquire and use technology; and the emergence of chief innovation officers, which hints at eventual challenges to traditional organizational structures themselves. We expect these trends, which took root in 2012, to impact our work and world as we move into next year and beyond.

Year in Review Timeline ... continued

BYOD: Resistance is Futile

CIOs this year who attempted to stop the adoption of personal mobile devices in government computing can perhaps sympathize with King Canute of England who sat in his throne on the beach, ordered the tide to stop and nearly drowned. Some 6 billion mobile devices have been purchased worldwide, and they have revolutionized personal life and society.

If our interviews with IT leaders throughout the year are any indication, 2012 is the year that bring your own device (BYOD) strategies reached a tipping point. Instead of resisting, many CIOs had begun to embrace the tsunami of privately owned mobile devices into city, county and state computing. Cities and counties struggled with the risks of lost or stolen devices, the acceleration of mobile malware, and troubling requirements such as discovery and Freedom of Information requests. But they recognized the efficiencies of replacing some government-owned devices with personally owned ones, the trend of "blurring" work and personal life, and welcomed new capabilities such as mobile apps for everything from transit schedules to pothole reporting.


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