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BYOA – Bring Your Own Apps

Short for Bring Your Own Applications as well as Build Your Own Apps, BYOA is an evolution of the term BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the consumerization of IT that refers to the growing use of personal apps by employees for increased productivity in their work environments.

Examples of Bring Your Own Apps span the gamut of third-party cloud storage and sync applications such as Dropbox, collaboration apps like Skype and GoToMeeting, work productivity apps like Google Docs and Evernote and social networking apps like LinkedIn.

Potential Security Issues with BYOA

With employees increasingly using their own smartphones, tablets and other computing devices at work, the use of employee-introduced applications has proliferated as well, with many organizations concerned about the security of the critical data used within these apps as well as the potential lack of control and management over BYOA apps.

As a result, while BYOA can increase workforce productivity and employee engagement, as well as reduce capital expenses and training costs associated with software, it can do so at the risk of corporate security if security policies and best practices are not properly implemented and followed.

The challenge for many companies and IT corporate leaders with both BYOA and BYOD has become striking an ideal balance between providing employees with the flexibility and ease of use via BYOA and BYOD to maximize productivity, while ensuring governance and security over the use of employee-introduced apps and devices.

Embracing the BYOA App Culture and In-House App Stores

Some larger companies are more embracing of the BYOA "app culture" and have taken the approach of enabling employees to build their own apps or even setting up their own in-house app directories of approved BYOA apps. These corporate BYOA app stores enable employees to access the apps that help them be the most productive while reducing the potential for use of unapproved apps.

Bring Your Own Access

While not as common, BYOA can also mean Bring Your Own Access, a term that refers to remote and home office employees being responsible for managing their wireless remote access to their company's network.

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