Bring your own device (BYOD) strategies are being adopted much faster in Europe than the US, according to the head of Citrix in the region.
Contradicting his boss, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton, who claimed the US embraced new ways of working faster than across the Atlantic, Carlos Sartorius said the origins of mobility in Europe meant it had the enthusiasm for change.
“It is like everything in life,” he said, shaking his head as Computer Weekly reminded him of Templeton’s comments. “I think that in Europe, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, they are all moving very, very fast.
“I used to work for Motorola for 25 years - where did we implement the first cellular networks? In Europe. Where have we seen the ability to watch TV on a mobile? Europe. So I truly believe that in Europe technology is moving faster and [companies are] being quite a lot faster [in adoption].”
However, Sartorius conceded there were still issues when it came to regulations which could discourage some European companies from embracing BYOD.
“We have a number of different forums with CIOs in Europe and I was very interested a year ago when we had one in London where a number of large CIOs said some of the regulators and even some of the workers' councils were putting up blockers,” he said.
“On the worker side, it is related to the fact that if you tell your employees to bring your own device, one might have a few pounds more and buy a nicer machine than someone else could afford. That worker will then say, she can do a better job than me because she has the better machine.
“On a regulatory basis it is also who pays the taxes. It gets to this extreme because if the company says I am going to give you £500 or £1,000 to buy your own device, then that is an additional income, so how do you treat it from a tax perspective.”
But overall, Sartorius believed firms were finding their way around the problems and still taking on BYOD deployments.
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“I don’t think many of the issues are actually showstoppers for the technology, but certainly if you are a large company that wants to implement something like this you need to take this into consideration because if you have 50,000 or 100,000 employees, it certainly can become an issue,” he said.
“But what I have seen in Europe is the companies are getting very creative. I have seen companies I would have never expected to get into mobility because of their type of business… such as in Vienna, one of the biggest brick and tile manufacturers. They are mobile, have enabled their sales force, and come to the conclusion having an iPad on all the time enables the sales guy to take an order, show a brochure, and be much more effective.
“It is now going across industries that people are seeing the benefit from mobility and BYOD.”