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Why We’re Watching the Bring Your Own App (BYOA) Trend

The BYOA movement continues to grow – both in enterprises worldwide and in social media. While Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and others continue to proliferate as means for employees to work more productively, social mentions of BYOA have increased as well, according to the latest iteration of the Ascent Index. But is BYOA getting the level of attention it really deserves?

From a technology standpoint, BYOA is a logical successor to BYOD. BYOD made commonplace the use of personal devices in the workplace; BYOA simply extends that philosophy to personal applications that pose a huge security threat to a company’s intellectual property. A LogMeIn study found that employees on average bring 21 apps into businesses today, often without the knowledge or approval of business leaders. LogMeIn’s research also found that 77 percent of IT services providers say BYOA will stay the same or increase significantly in the next five years. Additionally, a report by TrackVia found that 70 percent of millennials admit to using non-approved apps for work.

Clearly there is momentum here, and while that is reflected in our Ascent Index – which tracks social mentions of enterprise IT key words as one way of assessing their trendiness – we are still in very early days for BYOA.

BYOA has had 766 mentions in the last 30 days, a marked increase over the 474 social mentions BYOA received in August 2013. But while BYOA social chatter is on the rise, users are still talking far more about BYOD.

We wrote in our last Ascent Index blog post that the summer of 2013 might have represented the apex of the Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) hype, with mentions across social channels reaching about 2,600 per day. Today those numbers are dramatically fewer, but BYOD’s nearly 600 mentions per day nearly top BYOA’s monthly tally from mid-September to mid-October (766).

The reality, though, is that BYOA should command much more attention; proprietary corporate data can be leaked or stolen through the use of file sync and share solutions popular with consumers who, in many instances, are corporate employees. The benefits of BYOA come with new challenges that require real solutions for evolving enterprise IT realities. Security concerns over proprietary data are abundant and require new approaches to ensure compliance and prevent breaches.

As with all major shifts in enterprise technology, the innovative companies that can provide workable solutions to rising challenges will thrive. That’s why we continue to see strong growth trajectories for portfolio companies CloudLock and PerspecSys, which ensure sensitive data remains private as employees utilize mobile and cloud-based apps for work.

BYOA will be a key area of focus for enterprises as they continue to build and deploy apps in the cloud to reduce costs and improve collaboration. That’s why we believe the BYOA trend (and its benefits and challenges) will have lasting impacts on the enterprise.

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