The following was previously published in an earlier edition of Marketing Insider.
Let me set the stage. I was on a business trip, it was late, and I needed to prepare for a presentation I was giving in two days’ time. When I went to pull my laptop out of my backpack, it wasn’t there.
I then saw the image of myself putting my computer in the seatback in front of me, and remembered the rush I was in as I go off the plane without my usual double-checking for important items.
Without my computer, with an incomplete presentation, late at night: Definitely a recipe for a rough presentation, right? Wrong, again.
Fortunately, I had traveled to a location where my company has an office that could facilitate a loaner computer, and my password made it my own.
The last several years have seen a shift toward cloud storage in enterprise technology stacks. The benefit from the consumer side is exactly what I experienced. Had I lost my computer back in 2016, files were much more likely to be stored locally. Instead, I had access to almost everything on my computer. All it took to unlock access? The internet and a password.
Earlier in the evening I decided to watch a bit of TV and was prompted to decide between regular TV or subscription TV. I decided upon Netflix and logged in. Again, a simple password unlocked a treasure trove of personalized content. In 2017, a report from Hotel Management indicated that about 40% of occupied rooms would use this service. In the same year, Virgin Airlines announced a partnership with Netflix for the same type of experience.
What I experienced was akin to the Internet cafes of the 1990s. The technology was already at the destination. All I needed to do was use it.
For much of the 2000s, corporate culture has been touting the bring-your-own device movement. Today we should no longer thinking bring your own device (BYOD), but BYOP, or bring your own password.
Here are a few approaches for embracing the BYOP trend:
Go beyond the casual consumer. Many of the BYOP examples today are within the travel industry, because travelers are looking for ways to get rid of extra hardware weight. Destinations like hotels are differentiating by providing BYOP access. Since today’s workforce is transient, often working from multiple destinations like offices, coffee shops, or events, business destinations must start to apply the BYOP principles as well.
Hardware and cloud software partnerships. Hardware and software providers have long-standing relationships with each other, resulting in specific software preinstalled on hardware devices. For decades, the PC has come preloaded with Microsoft Office. This tactic provides a valuable distribution outlet for the software provider. The BYOP era calls for hardware brands to partner with cloud-based apps and solutions. For example, Samsung devices are now preloaded with the Spotify app, which must be unlocked with a password.
Partner with subscription content. Travel brands have partnered with cloud content creators to enhance the brand experience. This strategy is particularly effective for brands that have a captive or unengaged audience for a period of time. Therefore, it could be effective in most transportation instances, healthcare and government institutions, and destinations like arenas and tourist attractions. Another application in the auto industry is the functionality within Uber’s app to play a passenger’s Spotify playlist during the ride.
Think beyond passwords. In recent years we’ve seen a rise of biometric authentication, from TouchID to voice recognition technology. The examples mentioned in this article all leverage the use of passwords. Passwords are simply an authenticated means for access. It’s not unreasonable to assume that in the next decade, we'll be moving from BYOP, to BY: “Bring Yourself” to authenticate cloud access.