July 1, 2020

Forget Bring Your Own Device, now it's Bring Your Own Software


BYOD is so 2012. 2020 is the age of BYOS. We dig into what BYOS means for companies and Software Asset Management Teams.

Nikesh Ashar

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to being allowed to use a personally owned device for work purposes, rather than being required to use a device, such as a phone or computer, provided by your company.

BYOD really begun taking off in 2012 and it has now exploded with 75% of smartphones used in companies being a personal device according to Gartner’s Competitive Landscape: Managed Mobility Services.

Bring Your Own Device Google Trends
Google Trend data for searches of 'Bring Your Own Device' began accelerating in 2012

The challenge of supporting BYOD for companies, Software Asset Management teams and their CIOs is well documented. Information security, access control and leaver/joiner processes are all made more challenging by people using their own devices. But the complexity of managing it has been worthwhile overall for companies. According to Ingram Micro,  69% percent of IT decision makers in the US believe BYOD is a good thing and according to ITProPortal, an employee that is able to use his or her own device works on average two hours more per day.

BYOD is just the beginning**

As more people work from home and the number of SaaS products available to them continues to explode, employees are not just bringing their own device, they’re now embracing Bring Your Own Software (BYOS).

BYOS is an emerging trend where teams and employees discover the software that they prefer to use and sign up to it using their personal or corporate credit card. In the past, IT or procurement were the all-powerful gatekeepers of software. If employees wanted access to new software, they had to put in a request and wait (hope…) for it to be approved.

The way that we do work is changing. Employees are increasingly used to working how they want, when they want, with whatever software works best for them. And with the ability to sign up for just about any SaaS with a credit card, IT and Software Asset Management teams are increasingly becoming sidelined.

Bring Your Own Software (BYOS) is here to stay**

By putting procuring software through a credit card, employees are able to use the software they want right away, without going through official software asset management or procurement processes. And because cloud software is usually accessed through a browser, the usual procedures companies take to prevent unauthorised software use like preventing the installation of new software is ineffective.

This behaviour is already happening and is widespread among companies of all sizes. In a recent survey of 200 CIOs by Broadcade, 83% had discovered unauthorised software in their companies, despite many saying that their companies had policies that prevented SaaS purchases without approval and governance.

Software Asset Management and Procurement teams and CIOs are beginning to realise that SaaS is getting out of control. A survey by the Cloud Security Alliance found that 72% of IT executives don’t know how many shadow IT applications are being used within their organisation. This isn’t a surprise. For companies with 800-1,000 people, 7-10 new SaaS products are adopted by at least one person in a company every month and more than 50% of technology spending worldwide now occurs outside of IT budgets according to IDC.

Return of the Software Asset Manager**

Just because Software Asset Management teams are being sidelined by SaaS, doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Gartner predicts that by 2020, one-third of successful cyber-attacks on enterprises will be on data located in shadow IT resources like SaaS.

This makes software asset management more important than ever. The rise of BYOS increases risk, complicates compliance with SOC2, ISO27001, GDPA and CCPA and increases overheads for companies. Traditional methods of locking down computers or detecting software doesn’t work - it’s very hard to prevent SaaS to be used in a browser and detecting unauthorised SaaS is too late because you’ve already got a reportable breach.

The challenge for Software Asset Management teams is to figure out how to embrace SaaS, capture the best of the entrepreneurial spirit of the employees across a business and come up with ways to bring Shadow IT and SaaS into the light. This means finding a way that is as easy for an employee as pulling out his or her own credit card.

The challenge is on. With 50% of IT spend undocumented, getting it right is important. Software Asset Management Teams rose to the challenge of BYOD. Now it’s time to take on BYOS. Cledara is built to help.



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Nikesh Ashar

I currently look after Quality Assurance and IT at Cledara. Having built a robust QA process and now a team, we work with Product and Engineering to make sure that our software is robust and well tested.

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