IT Consumerization: Deal With It Before It Deals With You

Posted by Lou Person on Sep 01, 2011 in Cloud Journey

A new survey of IT professionals sponsored by Dell KASE reports that nearly 90% of employees now use personal devices such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets for work-related purposes. [1] No wonder Gartner analysts have predicted that 90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices by 2014. [2] Security concerns aside (we’ll deal with that topic in an upcoming blog), this is a trend IT would be smart to embrace. What follows is a quick look at just some of the many reasons why.

It takes new tools to work in new ways (and places)

  • 70% of work in North America now happens with two or more people. Productivity is no longer about individual workers; it’s about collaboration. [3]
  • 90% of enterprise employees participating in a survey of communication trends among business professionals reported that they spend at least some time working off site. Almost 30% of these say they spend up to half of their time working outside of their official office space. [4]

Smartphones are the new PC (but easier on IT’s wallet)

  • As of late 2010, manufacturers have now shipped more smartphones than personal computers. [5] While few predict the imminent demise of the PC, there is growing consensus that mobile devices are now the computing platform of choice.
  • Nearly 75% three quarters of companies today already have “BYOD” (bring your own device) policies in place. [6]
  • Do the math. The more devices employees bring, the less IT spends on hardware, installation and maintenance and user training.

IT’s role is getting bigger
Recession. Globalization. Shifting demographics. Together they’ve formed a perfect storm that has fundamentally changed the way that businesses think about IT. A recent study [7] of C-level business and technology leaders found that:

  • 34% of executives in the U.S identify “innovation” as a top priority.
  • 37% said IT was the primary enabler of innovation.
  • 50% think IT should focus on non-traditional IT domains (i.e., improving customer satisfaction, optimizing revenue generation)

No question the gauntlet has been thrown. But will IT have the resources to rise to challenge?  No problem according to the analyst — as long as IT sticks to its new mandate.  Forrester Research predicts [8]:

  • Flat growth rates of 3% through 2016 for IT investments in current-generation technology.
  • Double-digit growth rates for IT investments in smart computing applications, infrastructure and solutions.

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[1] “Consumerization of IT: A Survey of IT Professionals” Dimensional Research,
September 2011.  
[2] “Gartner Top Predictions for 2011: IT’s Transparency and Consumerization,” Webinar, Daryl Plummer, December 15, 2010.
[3] “It’s Not About the Furniture: Cubicles, Continued,” Allison Arieff, New York Times Online, August 22, 2011.
[4] How We Work: Communication Trends of Business Professionals,”  An International Study of 1,800 employees of medium to large companies conducted by Plantronics in May/June of 2011.
[5] “Smartphone shipments surpass PCs,” FT.com, Joseph Menn, February 8, 2011.
[6] “75% of Enterprises Have 'Bring Your Own Device' Policies. What That Means,” Eric Lai, ZDNet, March 29, 2011.
[7] “The Future of Work Has Arrived: Time to Re-Focus IT,” Mark Livingston, Gary Kieffer, Gabriel Schild, Sudeep, Nair Cognizant Business Consulting, February 2011.
[8] “Smart Computing Drives the
New Era of IT Growth,” Andrew Bartels with Ellen Daley, Andrew Parker, Forrester Research, Inc., Dec 4, 2009.