In London in the seventies it was common to see BYOB emblazoned on restaurant windows...
Took me a while to figure out what it meant, as restaurants were then well outside of my budget. It means Bring Your Own Bottle, the idea being that you purchased your own cheap bottle of wine in a supermarket and bought it to the restaurant, which opened it for you (and charged a small “corkage” fee for doing so). Nice to see that the idea is now coming back again into vogue here in Dublin.
In lots of businesses and universities a new mnemonic is also on the rise – BYOD – Bring Your Own Device. The idea being that the employee/student can bring their own preferred computing device to work or college and expect to have it supported by the business/university networks and applications.
There was a time when the business/university IT department would have been horrified by the idea. Indeed IT departments would often mandate a particular make of “supported” hardware, and insist on the use of an out-of-date, but “supported”, operating system. Often a deal would be done with a particular manufacturer to supply the approved equipment at a nice price.
But why shouldn’t the employee/student make their own choice as regards their own individual preference for a particular device? After all they feel comfortable with it, it suits them, why change? Rather than the individual conforming to the restrictions imposed by the IT department, surely the IT department should move to support the individual?
Now there are good and valid reasons for IT departments to be concerned, primarily about security. However gradually they are adapting to the idea, in part because users are voting with their feet. In our labs, filled with identikit PCs fixed to the desks, it is common to see a student stubbornly insisting on using their own personal laptop wedged between the PCs. Project work is often developed and demonstrated on a personal device rather than the standard PC provided.
However with freedom comes responsibility. So the most important advice is, yes, by all means BYOD, but also BYOB (Bring Your Own Brain!)