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More consumer IT entering workplace: study

Veronica C. Silva | Feb. 7, 2012
Enterprises are left with little choice but to invest in the infrastructure to welcome this trend.

Like it or not, enterprises are bracing for more consumer IT getting plugged into their IT infrastructure.

A recent report commissioned by managed services provider Avanade revealed that globally, enterprises are bracing for the "unstoppable shift in the use of consumer technologies in the workplace." The report, titled 'Dispelling Six Myths of Consumerization of IT,' is based on a survey conducted in 17 countries of more than 600 senior business and IT leaders.

The global report noted that 88 percent of executives have noted that employees are using their own personal computing technologies for business purposes. Singapore workers follow the worldwide trend at 89 percent.

The trend, which has come to be known as "bring your own device (BYOD)," poses challenges to enterprises, prompting companies to challenge whether they should change their policies to support the trend.

Some 50 percent of business leaders in Singapore have started changing their policies to make their workplace more appealing to the younger employees, the report noted. Globally, however, only 32 percent are receptive to policy changes. 

"Singaporeans view the adoption speed for the consumerisation of IT, predicting that it would take an average of four years for the workplace to consist almost entirely of personal computing devices compared to the global average of 12 years," the report stated.

Productivity

"For business leaders, the consumerisation of IT has less to do with the worker and more to do with the way employees work," said Craig Dower, president, Avanade Asia Pacific. "Our research shows that executives are rating productivity and anywhere access significantly higher than improved employee morale or providing greater responsibilities to younger employees."

Among the IT devices that figure well in the workplace, those positioned as devices for the workplace are more popular. Thus, the report noted that while Apple iPhone and iPad are seen to lead the consumerisation of IT, the more popular devices are the Android and Blackberry smartphones, and the Apple laptops.

The study also noted that these consumer IT technologies are being used for mission-critical workplace applications, and not just simply e-mailing and social networking. In Singapore, however, 75 percent of workers are accessing social networks using their personal devices, compared to only 46 percent globally. Among the mission critical apps used with the personal devices, Singapore executives cited customer relationship management (CRM), at 63 percent, time and expense tracking applications (38 percent) and enterprise resource planning (38 percent). 

 

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