You know….I was hoping I wasn’t going to have to do this. I am writing you from the most amazing city in the world: Paris, France. I’m supposed to be on “holiday.” Holiday, for all you North Americans, is that period of time where you don’t work for more than two consecutive days…including not talking to customers, partners or colleagues or actually doing anything that is not related to enjoying time with your family and friends. Ya…that seems to simply not be in my DNA. Oh well.
So, yes, I am in Europe….and guess what people have been asking me about. Yup….you guessed it. BYOD. Shoot me now…please. Put me out of my misery. I was hoping that the bastion of antiquated (read, old world) civility would somehow be immune to the madness (disease?) we have suffered in North America….but alas, such is not the case. Maybe it’s like Mad Cow disease (you get extra special bonus points if you now understand the photo reference I made in today’s missive).
But in any case, back to BYOD. I was actually at a conference in Boston last week where I moderated a session on the impact of BYOD. Not surprisingly, we talked about the great benefits of BYOD (including the fact that people actually might genuinely be more productive on devices they like). I will say this though. We did spend more time talking about all the risks of BYOD than the actual benefits that come from BYOD…we even spoke about the real time case study going on at IBM and how that has proven to NOT be a cost savor for the enterprise.
But it got me wondering. If we spend so much time talking about the risks of BYOD, why is it still so enticing? Is it like smoking? Sure, it looks cool at first, and you may enjoy it, but then you learn how bad it might be for your health, and then you spend years trying to remediate what you have done in the first place….In many respects, this does make sense in the context of my more general theory that we are in the adolescent stages of mobility within the workplace. What I mean by that is that we think we know what we’re doing…we’re adults, right????….but in a few years we’re going to look back at the year 2012 and say “wow….what were we thinking?!?!?!?”
Something just tells me that all the things that made so much sense to us today – particularly this notion of the entitlement of the employee to bring in whatever hardware and software they want into the workplace – will look foolish in hindsight and that we will end up looking at BYOD with much broader scrutiny than we do today.