Six Myths About the Consumerization of IT

Android DialingThere’s a lot of conventional wisdom out there about the consumerization of IT (or “bring your own device,” BYOD) and how it’s affecting the workplace. Much of it turns out to be wrong, at least if you believe the findings of a recent survey of 600 executives and IT decision makers in 17 countries conducted by research firm Avanade. Despite what you may think, businesses like it, they can handle it, and it’s not driven by iPhones. Here are the top six myths the survey debunked:

Myth: Businesses Are Resisting BYOD
Despite perceptions that companies and IT leaders are hesitant to embrace the consumerization of IT, companies actually like it, and it’s executives at the highest levels in the organization leading the charge. Nearly three-quarters reported that the growing use of employee-owned technology is a top priority.

Myth: Companies Don’t Have the Resources They Need to Manage BYOD
More than 90 percent of executives and 75 percent of IT decision makers said their IT department has the staff and resources needed to manage the use of consumer technologies.  Most say it’s a relatively simple matter to integrate the employee-owned devices, applications, and online services into the enterprise IT system.

Myth: The Need to Attract and Keep Millennials is Driving BYOD
Less than one-third of executives report they have changed company policies to make their workplace more appealing to younger employees. Only 20 percent buy in to the idea that allowing personal computing technologies benefits recruitment and retention efforts.

Myth: Personal Devices Are Used for Checking Email and Facebook
Executives cited customer relationship management (45 percent), time and expense tracking applications (44 percent), and enterprise resource planning (38 percent) as top apps accessed by personal devices. This represents a major shift in the way enterprise technologies are being used.

Myth: Apple Drives BYOD  
It turns out the single most popular device is an Android-based smartphone. When looking more specifically at the device brands employees prefer, the top three were Android, BlackBerry, and Apple. When aggregating the full portfolio of devices including laptops, Apple does lead the pack.

Myth: Built-In Security Measures Are Enough for the Enterprise
Executives and IT are still working to put the right security policies, procedures, training, and technology in place. Security measures have not kept up. In fact, 55 percent of companies report they have already experienced a security breach as a result of personal technologies flooding the enterprise. So no matter how well BYOD seems to be going, there’s still work to be done, at least on the security front.