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As business and private lives merge for many workers, Daimler needs to allow private enduser devices for business use, CTO Schneider says (Photo: automotiveIT)

HANOVER ”“Daimler has decided to adopt a dual approach to mobile end-user devices in recognition of the diversity of its employees.

The German premium car group expects that so-called user-owned devices will increasingly be used for business purposes. Hence, it will allow these devices to carry a limited amount of company data and will give them access to a few company software applications.

At the same time, the company has developed a policy for company owned devices, which will allow full integration in Daimler’s IT infrastructure without limitations. These devices, however, will only have a few applications for use in private life.

“Our expectation is that management will in coming years gravitate more and more to company owned devices, but the volume will be in user-owned devices,” said Peter Schneider, Daimler CTO.

Speaking at the annual automotiveDAY conference here, Schneider said the growing demand from workers to user their own smartphones and other devices for work purposes provides a major challenge to corporate IT departments.

Data protection and privacy issues, data security, budgetary restraints and the short life cycle of the average smartphone are just a few of the problems IT departments face, Scheider said.

The Daimler CTO also noted that the issue is controversial with the German workers’ council, which plays an important role in corporate decision-making.

But Schneider said Daimler has to address these difficulties and challenges. “We have to find solutions to respond to employees requests,” he said, citing also the need to position itself as an attractive employer.

Daimler has developed a mobile reference architecture (MRA) that will be the basis for a range of applications and solutions it plans to develop. Many of these solutions will also come from software partners. Solutions for in-house applications will, in first instance, use the HTML5 programming language, Schneider said.

The automotiveDAY conference, which is organized by automotiveIT, takes place every year during the CeBIT high-tech fair here. The gathering features a range of industry speakers who are focusing this year on the central role of IT in boosting efficiency in the car industry.

Speakers this year include, next to Schneider, BMW executives Karl Probst and Hildegard Wortmann, Audi CIO Axel Strotbek, Mann + Hummel CIO Stefan Ihringer and Continental CIO Elisabeth Hoeflich. Also on the agenda is an address by Lamborghini CIO Matthias Schlapp.

-By Arjen Bongard