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The Great Divide: Mobile Workers Challenge IT Departments With Aggressive Use Of Consumer Tech, Unisys-Commissioned Study Finds

The new Unisys-commissioned research shows the "bring your own" trend continues to accelerate in the workplace, and is spreading beyond devices to personal applications:

  • 43 percent of surveyed iWorkers report using three or more devices for work.
  • Smartphones are used by 44 percent of surveyed iWorkers, with about a third of those phones purchased by the employees, while 15 percent of surveyed iWorkers report using tablet computers for work, with more than half of those tablets bought personally.
  • 68 percent of tablet users and 63 percent of smartphone users say that convenience is the reason they use these technologies for work.
  • Nearly 40 percent of global surveyed iWorkers report using an unsupported "bring your own" application or cloud service, such as personal email, file-sharing service or video conferencing, for work.
  • 62 percent of 18-31 year olds (Gen Y+Z) and 54 percent of 32-45 year olds (Gen X) say the technology they have at home is better than what they have at work.

The new research also shows that iWorkers and IT decision makers view the business value of these consumer technologies quite differently:
  • 56 percent of iWorkers surveyed say that they use unsupported personal devices or apps for work because they need the capabilities and their organization does not provide an alternative.
  • However, 72 percent of IT executives surveyed say that employees are making use of unsupported devices or apps because of personal preference, not because they need to do critical work.

iWorkers and IT departments also seem to have different views of corporate support for personally owned technologies in the workplace:
  • 61 percent of surveyed IT decision-makers believe that their employees will contact the company IT department first when they encounter a problem with a personal device they use for work.
  • However, 64 percent of iWorkers say that they would troubleshoot the problem themselves or contact a friend first, and only 21 percent would make the IT department the first point of contact for resolution.
  • IT departments report that they are increasingly supporting company-owned tablets and smartphones in the workplace: 61 percent of IT respondents say that their organizations provide a high level of IT support for company-owned smartphones and tablets, up from only 27 percent in 2011. However, fewer IT respondents – 17 percent in 2012 vs. 18 percent in 2011 – say that their firms provide high levels of support for employee-owned smartphones and tablets.

Mobile Elite Workers Are Setting the Pace in Consumerization The new research shows the extent to which the consumerization trend is being driven by a select group of highly connected employees that Unisys terms the "mobile elite."

These individuals, comprising 23 percent of the total iWorker respondents, are those who make intensive use of multiple personally owned devices and applications to get work done.

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