The so-called consumerization of IT — workers using their own personal smartphones, laptops and tablets as work devices — may improve morale and perhaps even enhance productivity, but according to a new survey, it’s driving IT crazy. And with good reason. IT managers are struggling to maintain compliance, security and functionality across a variety of gadgets and operating systems.
The survey of 750 front-line IT professionals, managers and executives conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by Dell KACE finds that 87 percent say their employees use personal devices for work-related purposes. That’s everything from e-mail and schedules to CRM and EMP. Eighty percent say employees use personal smartphones. And 69 percent say employees use personal PCs. The most popular devices (in order): the iPhone, Android phones, Windows systems, the iPad and various BlackBerry models.
Even among personal PCs, there is quite a mix of Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. And that makes IT’s job insanely complicated. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents say IT must support more operating systems because of this range of devices. It’s especially true of Apple’s Mac OS X for desktops and laptops. The iPhone and iPad are having a halo effect on office equipment.
IT is running scared. Eighty two percent of respondents say they are concerned about the use of personal devices for work purposes. What’s scariest? Potential network security breaches, possible loss of customer enterprise data, potential theft of intellectual property and difficulty meeting compliance requirements.
Consumerization of IT is only going to get more prevalent. IT professionals definitely have their work cut out for them.