Consumer technology is changing the modern workplace. Employees are demanding the right to use their personal IT, including smart phones, Internet applications and tablets. This trend has now started will continue to be a challenge for businesses over the next years. Executives are increasingly recognizing that they can neither ignore this fundamental change nor forbid it. Instead they must learn to manage it.
Our research shows that this is a fundamental trend. According to the research by the Accenture Institute of High Performance among 4000 employees from 16 countries and 300 –IT and non-IT– executives shows a new way of working in which 27% of employees use non-corporate applications to improve productivity at work and 32% actively recommend good consumer applications to their colleagues. The research titled “Consumerization of enterprise IT” concludes that almost half (45 percent) of surveyed employees find personal devices and applications more useful than the tools and applications that the IT department provides. With these numbers, it is not surprising that people prefer to bring their own technology.
Freedom to choose and use personal IT
Employees want the freedom to choose their own preferred technology. They find the IT resources provided by their business not as flexible and enjoyable to work with as the hardware and software they use in their private lives. Employees all over the world are using consumer IT at work for a variety of reasons and often regardless of official company policies. 66 percent don’t even worry about the organization’s IT policies because they just use the technologies they need to do their work. Employees are even willing to pay for their favorite technology also allowed for business use. They choose not to deploy it, with or without the consent of their business.
Although employees do have concerns about data security and IT protocols, one in four (23 percent) employees use their personal devices for work regularly. This group believes that these technologies improve productivity and innovation, and increase job satisfaction.
Adoption is greater in Emerging Markets
The study also shows that the use of and attitudes towards the use of private technology differs per region. In fast growing (emerging) markets such as Brazil, China, India and Mexico the adoption of consumer technology is greater than in other markets. The global average for the adoption of consumer devices in corporations is 23 percent and 20 percent for applications that employees routinely use in their work. In countries such as China and India, this percentage is above 40. Employees in emerging markets not only use consumer IT at work more than their Western counterparts do; they also view such technologies as vital to enhancing their innovativeness, productivity and job satisfaction and believe that the use of consumer IT can increase their competitive advantages.
As emerging markets seek to continue the high growth they have enjoyed over the past couple of decades, consumer technologies could be one of the key drivers of that effort. Now that the consumer IT is here to stay and will play a growing role in employee satisfaction and productivity, businesses need to identify strategies for managing the IT consumerization to balance risks and opportunities. This will attract the best workforce and sharpen the competitive edge.