CIO Symmetry

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» VIEW ALL POSTS Nov 30 2011   3:20PM GMT

First, ‘bring your own device’; now, a zero email policy



Posted by: Scot Petersen
Tags:
Email and messaging
Leadership and Strategy
mobile technology

The wave of optimism that began with advancements in smartphones and tablets that could enable a new generation of bring-your-own-device employees has been taking some strange zigzags of late.

 The first “zig” is that a major health care provider is taking steps to restrict workers’ Internet access as a result of an out-of-control malware problem.

 The latest “zag” comes from Thierry Breton, CEO at Atos, a French IT services firm. He wants to institute a zero-email policy within the next two years.

 This could be a shock to old-school users, who still live and breathe in their email application eight hours a day. But it could be a boon to up-and-coming Millennial-generation workers, who spend most of their time on devices communicating through social networks.

 In my case, I’m playing in both the old and new schools. I take notes on my iPad, then email them to myself for future reference. That might go against the common sense of Nicolas Moinet, information and communication professor at Poitiers University in France: “We have now reached crazy situations where employees go to a meeting, continue to send emails and then ask colleagues present to send them an email to know what was said during that meeting.”

 There’s a level of the absurd in this, but banning email? Like cutting off employees to the Internet, this latest attempt to get control of things will end up causing more problems. I like the out-of-the-box thinking espoused by Breton, but we need to rein in some workable solutions.

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