Hello from the beautiful land of windmills, and gouda cheese (and some other things that we don’t need to mention on this PG rated site). I’m here in Holland for the next couple of days spending some time with some enterprise mobility friends. The discussions so far have been unbelievably broad, but there was one thing I wanted to share….particularly for my North American friends.
We talked a LOT about BYOD. You know, the awful four-letter word that makes many an IT manager lose sleep and countless enterprise mobility marketing managers think about the next angle in terms or raising awareness around all the potential risks of unsecured mobile devices entering the corporate workplace.
So I asked directly the people I was talking to today about BYOD and what their thoughts were around the subject. The answers were VERY interesting. Yes, many an organization here (not just in The Netherlands, but in Europe) have been looking more and more at the whole Bring Your Own Device concept and thinking about (at the very least) having a trial deployment to see if it would work for their organizations or not.
The general consensus? Nee. That means “No.”
So a number -albeit non statistically relevant – of companies I spoke to have looked into the whole notion of BYOD and have come up with the conclusion that it’s just not worth it to them in terms of cost, management and security.
Hunh? What are they missing that Americans get? Contrarily, what do they see that Americans don’t?
I think it’s actually more of the latter. Here, there’s actually a greater sense of trust of the employee. They do genuinely believe that the employee is going to do things in the best interest of the company…or rather that they are not going to behave in a fashion that would have a negative impact on the workplace.
Then again, they wouldn’t sue a fast food company when they were dumb enough to spill hot coffee on your lap when going through a drive-through (remember the McDonald’s coffee law suit?)
So regardless of where you fall around hot coffee, the point is this. BYOD is NOT the singular, be all and end all answer for companies all across the world. Multi-national corporations are going to have to deal with a mix. In fact, many of the companies I learned about today were adopting strategies that were very much like COPE…Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled. They were allowing their employees to pick whatever devices they want, but the number, device and service plan was paid for by the company. They found this to be a lot easier to manage – from the broadest perspective. The companies still let the employees use the devices for personal use and didn’t track EVERYTHING the employee was doing, but still had the liberty – nee – the RIGHT, to control and manage the device as need be.
So again, I ask the question. What are these European companies missing that Americans get? Or contrarily, what do they see that Americans don’t?