Bring your own downfall

The dinner party in the 1970’s was the way to show off to your friends how sophisticated you were – treating them to prawn cocktail starters, chicken kiev for the main course and an artic roll for dessert.  And of course, you’d also have raided your nearest Marks & Spencer’s supermarket for a bottle of their finest generic White Table Wine.  You see, back in 1973, you only had a choice from a handful of wines – so it was easy to pick something that no-one would enjoy while at the same time appearing to be the height of the social scene.


Fast forward to the nineties and not only were there hundreds of bottles of wine to choose from, there was also a huge range of beers, spirits and alcopops – something to suit everyones tastes.  You’d be faced with spending £30 on a bottle of wine to please the Leadbetters while your other guests would still rather have a beer or some vodka.  And so began the rise of “bring your own bottle” – the novel concept of allowing your guests to bring what they would enjoy rather than forcing your taste on them.

The concept of “Bring Your Own” didn’t just stop at what drink you’d take to your neighbour’s party – it morphed into freedom of choice for the office worker.  No longer did employers insist that their workers suffer the 3 year old, previously enjoyed, locked down to the point of being unusable, corporate laptop (often with a range of crumbs and other nastiness trapped in the keyboard); instead they would welcome their staff to the future “bring your own device”.  Now employees could bring their shinny state-of-the-art Macbook into the office and use it to access the corporate network.  No more waiting for half an hour in the morning for the prehistoric corporate laptop to boot up; no more having to close one program down to free up memory to open another.  And even better, some employers gave their staff an allowance from the money they saved by not having to give them a work PC.

 
Yet for some reason, BYOD still remains “the future” at a large number of organisations.  Security, inter-operability, tax issues, regulation, health & safety… the list of excuses goes on.  Even some of the organisation who allow BYOD wrap so many conditions around it, such as installing software to block or diminish the experience of personal use on your own device, that employees become disenfranchised with the idea.

For the organisations who haven’t embraced BYOD there’s trouble looming.  The next wave of “Bring Your Own” is customer focussed.  Bring Your Own Authentication/Credentials/Identity will disrupt how the consumer interacts with business in the digital era.  If customers can’t remember passwords, they’ll chose a different type of credential that works for them… and they’ll want to use it with whichever company they chose.  If they’ve proved their age once and now have a verified attribute they’ll want to assert it anytime they are required to – regardless of who verified their age and whom they’re now asserting it to.

Digital disruption, powered by the ability to bring your own identity, has already started – Chip & PIN, which had a painfully slow global adoption, is already seeing the impact of the digital wallet.  Retailers, including Marks & Spencer, have embraced consumer choice for convenience, with banks and card providers often reluctantly falling into line, as their customers reach for their mobile device to authenticate their payments.  Portable KYC, identity passports, attribute exchange and federated authentication will gather pace over the next 12-18 months; organisations who are still looking inwards at how they respond to BYOID will lose ground to those who are looking outwards at what role their organisation will play.

Customers will look to convenience, organisations will look towards trust, security and liability, when deciding what identity standards to adopt – the market has a lot of work to do to mash these together.  The visionary, customer centric companies, will move towards a risk appropriate framework.   One that provides a rewarding experience for their customers.

For those companies who keep looking inwards, if you’re still offering your customers the identity experience comparable to White Table Wine in a year’s time, you might just bring your own downfall. 

Read my other posts
Unblocking Digital Identity – Identity on the Blockchain as the next big thing
Tick to Agree – Doing the right thing with customer’s data
The Kids Are All Right – Convenient authentication: the minimum standard for the younger generation
The ridiculous mouse – Why identity assurance must be a rewarding experience for users
Big Brother’s Protection – How Big Brother can protect our privacy
I don’t know who I am anymore – How to prove your identity online
Three Little Words – What it means for your business to be agile

Defining the Business Analyst – Better job descriptions for Business Analysis
Unexpected Customer Behaviour –  The role of self-service in your customer service strategy
Too Big To Fail – Keeping the heart of your business alive
The upstarts at the startups – How startups are changing big business 
In pursuit of mediocrity – Why performance management systems drive mediocrity

About me
Bryn Robinson-Morgan is an independent Business Consultant with interests in Identity Assurance, Agile Organisational Design and Customer Centric Architecture.  Bryn has near 20 years experience working with some of the United Kingdom’s leading brands and largest organisations.

Follow Bryn on Twitter: @No1_BA

Connect with Bryn on Linked In: Bryn Robinson-Morgan



Source: Bryn Blog