IT | Security

The Impact of the Consumerization of IT

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 5/9/2014

Enterprises are responding to the influx of consumerization of IT and BYOD devices with more than just fear. The 2014 Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) report from IDG Enterprise indicates that while companies are focusing on mitigating risk and securing enterprise data, they are also finding ways to further productivity and innovation.

The findings come from a survey of 1,155 respondents involved in the purchase of IT products and services for their organization. The goal of the survey was to understand the use of consumer technologies in an enterprise environment and how those technologies affect IT.

What is the Consumerization of IT?

According to Gartner, consumerization describes "the specific impact that consumer-originated technologies can have on enterprises." In other words, it is a cycle where new IT technology that is developed for the consumer marketplace affects enterprises. The impact can be either positive or negative, as businesses take advantage of the technology or are forced to adapt their policies or processes around it.

This particular survey shows an interesting shift in how BYOD device types are being supported in the organization. Specifically, we can see an obvious decline in desktops and a sharp rise in tablet devices, which may be eroding some of the marketshare of laptops for some employees.

Key findings from the study:

  • BYOD has required 82% of organizations to make significant changes: creating data security policies, installing mobile device management (MDM) solutions, purchasing secure file sharing services
  • The top consumer cloud tools used in the enterprise are LinkedIn and Skype (90%), with file sharing / collaboration tools next (79%)
  • MDM use is more prevalent  in larger organizations (1,000+ employees) for all devices (BYOD, corporate-owned)
  • 40% of larger organizations are planning to support at least some employee use of wearable deceives (smart watches, Google Glass, etc)
  • 90% of organizations cite the security and reliability of software / network as the top requirement when selecting mobile technology solutions

Overall, consumerization is viewed positively by the majority of organizations. Specifically, these organizations expect to see an increase in user satisfaction, user productivity, process efficiency and collaboration, and business agility over the next year.

This survey reinforces the new norm of BYOD devices in the enterprise. Organizations have made positive steps in embracing BYOD over the past year, though data security is still an important area to consider. BYOD poses many risks to corporate data which may be stored on an employee-owned device – especially if the device is lost or stolen or if the employee leaves the organization.

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