By David Bicknell
Looking ahead into 2012, one of the biggest instances of change will continue to be consumerisation. A recent survey from Accenture has summed up the trend towards employees using their own devices which IT departments can either embrace, or fight a rearguard action against. Perhaps there is the opportunity for IT to be the good guy – for once – and rebuild its relationship with its end user ‘customers’.
Whatever IT decides, consumerisation is here to stay. Accenture found that a large proportion of employees already make their own technology decisions, and a quarter bring their own devices or access their own applications from the Internet.
The move reinforces the problems that consumerisation is causing IT departments. Trends allied to consumerisation, including use of social media and the business’s desire to spin up a Cloud facility, say for a marketing campaign, are now turning the focus squarely on what IT does now and what it should do in the future.
So-called “Bring your own device” (BYOD) programmes are already turning many business end users into accidental IT managers.
The Accenture survey of 4000 employees found that despite employers’ concerns around data security and IT protocol, one in four (23 percent) employees worldwide regularly use personal consumer devices and applications for work related activities. Employees claim that such technologies enhance innovation, productivity and job satisfaction, and more than a quarter (27 percent) said that they would be happy to pay for their own devices and applications to use at work.
- Over a quarter (27 percent) of employees routinely use non-corporate applications downloaded from the Web in the workplace as they search for applications tohelp them to work better
- The first step toward IT consumerisation often involves accessing corporate email in non-corporate settings, largely as a result of increasing smartphone penetration, with 30 percent saying they routinely check email before they go to bed
- Employees also revealed a desire to access Web-based corporate applications and databases, as 14 percent reported accessing corporate apps and databases from their consumer devices on a regular basis
- There is an increasing trend for employee driven technological innovation, as 24 percent of employees admitted to coming up with their own consumer technology solution to help solve a business problem
- The use of personal devices in the enterprise increases dramatically amongst IT executives (54 percent) and other management executives (49 percent) when compared to employee adoption rates
- Management and IT executives know that using the latest technology is a big priority for their employees, with 88 percent of executives collectively saying that consumer technology used by their employees can improve job satisfaction