The debate about the bring-your-own-device movement (BYOD) has quieted down, mostly because, it seems, while IT has been over in the corner arguing the pros and cons, employees have been streaming into office with their shiny new toys and using them to get work done.
That suspicion, in fact, is verified by a new study of subscribers to Network World and sister publications (including Computerworld, InfoWorld, CIO and CITEworld.com) about the consumerization of IT.
While more than 80% of 1,600 shops surveyed said they have initiatives in place to enable use of consumer technologies at work, nearly half say these efforts are still reactive in nature. Only 33% say they have proactively stepped out in front to address the issue. That last roughly 20%? They are stubbornly trying to hold back the tide, reporting they have no initiatives underway.
The bulk of the shops (two-thirds) that allow BYOD let employees bring in and use what they want, while roughly one-fifth say they give employees an allowance to buy the tools they like.
Not surprisingly, smartphones top the list (at 60%) of the BYOD devices that IT has agreed to service and support, but laptops and tablets were right up there at 57% and 51%, respectively. Even employee-owned desktops made the list at 47%.
Perhaps the most interesting findings, however, concerned the perceived benefits that BYOD is delivering.
A whopping 35% of the shops surveyed say consumerization of IT will have a dramatic positive impact on user satisfaction over the next 12-18 months. Another 47% say it will have a moderately positive impact, which, taken together, means more than 80% of the IT folks surveyed see BYOD as a big win.
User productivity also scores high, with 76% saying consumerization will have a moderate or dramatic positive impact, while 70% expect the same benefit for business agility, and 69% say consumerization will dramatically or moderately improve process efficiency/collaboration.
What about revenue growth? Oddly enough, given the positive outlook about the business benefits cited above, some 56% of the shops say consumerization will have little or no impact on sales. Go figure.
When it comes to lingering doubts, security tops the list of challenges organizations are most concerned about when it comes to consumerization, followed by privacy/compliance issues, loss of control, problems tying BYOD tools to existing systems/services, and protection of intellectual property.