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Bring Your Own Brings Big Changes to IT B2B Marketing


Back in the day, if your work gave you a laptop or mobile phone, you felt favoured and honoured by such gifts from the corporate gods.  And the kit you were given was always several grades better than you could afford to get yourself.

But that was then this is now. Your personal  sleek, touch sensitive, hyper mobile, hyper connected device is not only a lot better but also a lot cheaper than the corporate brick the IT Department has thrown at you. That glowing gift from the gods has become the unwanted snow scene jumper from Aunty Maud.

People want to be able to use corporate IT as quickly, easily and conveniently as they can their personal IT. The Apple inspired waves of tablets and new smartphones have accelerated this trend. Cloud computing, virtualisation and enterprise 2.0 working means that the supply side of buy your own is catching up quickly with the demand side. Buy your own is already here and it’s not going away - IDC reckon 95% of employees already use at least one personally purchased device for work. And Gartner predict that 90% of companies will support employee owned kit by 2014.

The impact will be felt as much by B2B IT marketers as by the beleaguered IT departments.  The kit in the user's hand is the tangible embodiment of IT services and as such has been the natural focus of marketing efforts. It is the crucial element of the IT chain. As buy your own spreads, the market will becomemillions of individuals making small purchases not small groups making decisions for many thousands. A consumer not a B2B model. And the fluffy consumer people do that far better than a B2B marketer. Using business focused messages won’t work.

Non-hardware IT (such as infrastructure, connectivity and security) are still massive markets but tend by their very nature to be very long term and commoditised, which doesn’t give the IT marketer much to play with.

And finally a plea which I suspect will be in vain. Let's not refer to the people using their own hardware for corporate purposes consumerisation. That’s an ugly made up word and yet another addition to the confusing, cliquey and frankly rubbish lexicon of IT speak. Buy your own is a much more descriptive, helpful and elegant phrase. And those IT traditionalists can still keep themselves happy by using the TLA BYO!