In tech, six years ago is ancient history.
But in enterprise, six years is nothing.
The BYOD phenomenon caught on in 2009, and employees have been thrilled to use the phones, PCs and tablets they’re most comfortable with to do their work. Some say it even makes them more productive.
But since enterprises are usually pretty slow to adjust, there’s still companies that haven’t made the switch to BYOD yet and need expert developers and IT security professionals to help them through the process.
As an app or website developer, your understanding of the changes BYOD has brought about in development and security management is something companies making the transition to BYOD desperately need—helping you stand out as a leader and advance your career.
The Nuts & Bolts of BYOD
On the surface, BYOD seems like a nice, win-win situation for everyone: employees get to use the technology they’re most comfortable with, and companies don’t have to shell out the cash to buy new devices for everyone.
But for developers and IT security professionals, it’s a whole different ball game.
In fact, developing for BYOD differs in developing for company-sponsored devices in 6 key ways: screen size responsiveness, UI & UX, non-native development, public internet security, security patches, and no centralized app management.
1. Screen Responsiveness
Rather than only having one type of computer, tablet or phone to develop an enterprise-specific app for, you’ve got to create an app that works on any screen size, no matter what kind of wonky device an employee might bring in.
Responsive screens are really catching on both online and on mobile, though, so this isn’t the biggest of your worries as an enterprise app developer creating something for BYOD. Since website responsiveness is becoming standard, it’s nothing too different from regular website or Android-based development.
2. Instantly Intuitive UI & UX
Even though mobile and PC operating systems are vastly different from each other, companies won’t want to spend their resources on app training.
Like the majority of non-workplace apps, they’ll expect the UI & UX to be intuitive enough to be used with zero to minimal training, and with the differences in operating systems, a non-intuitive UI would mean a different training for each new device.
Each enterprise app needs to be designed and functional for immediate, out-of-the-box use.
3. Non-Native Development
Before BYOD, when everyone in the company was using a company-sponsored BlackBerry and Windows laptop, native apps were the best, safest choice.
But with BYOD, developing natively means you’d have to have the resources to develop for BlackBerry, Android, Windows, iOS, and Symbian, among others… and for companies that don’t specialize in app development, footing the bill for all of those resources for the development and subsequent updates could be a problem.
Instead, most BYOD-friendly enterprise apps are developed in HTML5, so they instantly work on any device.
4. Public Internet Security
Unless the app or internal company website you’re developing is 100% useless off the premises of the company, you’ll need to assume that employees are going to use it over public internet connections, and make in-built security capabilities to protect whatever sensitive company data may pass through their phones.
For example, you’ll need to set up the app so almost all of the traffic is directed to an HTTPS page, rather than an HTTP page.
And even though you might be developing an app instead of a website, because you’d build it on HTML5, you’d have to put securities in place to protect it against cross-site-scripting, SQL injections, and other attacks.
5. Constant Security Patch Updates
An app that operates on a closed network doesn’t necessarily need many security updates.
But creating an HTML5-based app means it’ll have to be open to functioning with new security patches added by you as the app developer, or by the device manufacturers themselves.
6. Working Without Centralized Management
For the same reason you want to develop non-natively on HTML5, you’ll also want to set up the app’s security to work without centralized management.
The end user, not someone in office headquarters, needs to be the one to configure their own preferences because the way to do this is different from one operating system to another.
Becoming an Enterprise BYOD Development Guru
Want to help your company transition to BYOD?
A fresh new IT certificate in development or cyber security could be exactly what you need to get rolling.
Check out our different IT training programs, sorted by area of expertise and experience level to find one that fits your schedule – most of the time, you’ll be finished in less than a month!