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Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices
Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices
Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices
Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices
Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices
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Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices

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Ever wonder what other IT pros are doing about consumer devices? Are they allowing them? And if so, what if any security requirements have they established? Consumerization is a huge trend, a trend …

Ever wonder what other IT pros are doing about consumer devices? Are they allowing them? And if so, what if any security requirements have they established? Consumerization is a huge trend, a trend no one in this business can afford to ignore. And now you can get a great snapshot of what your peers are thinking and doing about it.

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  • 1. Executive Brief Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices a QuinStreet Excutive Brief. © 2012 Study Shows IT Professionals Datamation® Sponsored by Dell and Intel®
  • 2. © 2012, QuinStreet, Inc. Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices 1 Datamation® A new generation of workers and powerful, easy-to-use consumer computing devices is reshaping the way businesses manage their technology. Some call it the “consumerization of IT” and it often manifests itself in policies like “bring your own device” (BYOD) where workers choose their mobile device and IT provides the support. This is a drastic change from earlier generations of device management. Many older workers first encountered computing and mobile technology through their jobs, and the idea of a “business phone” and “personal phone” made a lot of sense because the devices were stationary. It wasn’t until mobile devices like laptops and mobile phones were introduced that the line between work and home began to blur. The speed of innovation in the consumer device market further erased the distinction between home and work devices for a number of reasons. First, new consumer devices like the iPhone feature interfaces and applications that simply weren’t available on devices supported by many businesses. As the prices of laptops and other mobile devices came down, many workers were able to upgrade their personal devices faster than their employer upgraded their work devices, meaning the personal devices had functionality, storage, processing power and applications that made the devices faster and easier to use than work devices. In the mobile phone space, carriers subsidize much of the cost of new devices, spurring consumers to upgrade for a relatively low cost. Younger workers are accustomed to using powerful mobile devices as consumers, and many enter the workforce finding their personal devices are more powerful and easier to use than the devices supported by the business. Add in the tablet form factor, which is growing in popularity with consumers but so far lacks a solid business equivalent, and the result is an influx of personal devices into the business. Increasingly, for workers young and old, the idea of keeping “work” and “personal” devices separate makes very little sense. Because today’s mobile devices go far beyond their initial purpose as phones or computers to include calendars and organizers, media players, productivity applications, contact lists and more, people don’t want to segregate their information or worry about not having the right device with the right information at the right time. What Does This Mean for IT? For businesses accustomed to supporting a set list of devices, this new device landscape comes down to a battle for control. Previously IT could manage the devices and the data using mobile device management (MDM) policies and MDM software available from any number of vendors. Now that businesses are awash in personal devices, organizations have two basic options: 1. Continue supporting a limited list of devices and maintaining control over devices and data. 2. Accept that consumerization is a viable option and concentrate on controlling business data without dictating a device preference.
  • 3. © 2012, QuinStreet, Inc. Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices 2 Datamation® The first option sounds simple enough on paper, but as mentioned earlier, employees are using the latest devices outside of work, and they have come to rely on the devices and they’re comfortable with how they work. That’s why many businesses are moving toward the second option, adopting BYOD policies that allow employees to choose their device and form factor and allowing IT to concentrate on securing the corporate data and networks. When implemented properly, a BYOD policy creates happier, more productive employees who can use the device of their choice from the location of their choice at the time of their choice to stay in touch with co-workers, partners and customers. It also eliminates a number of headaches for the IT department because consumer devices are going to appear in the business regardless of policy, and a BYOD policy allows them to be managed and secured instead of used in an illicit manner. How Do Businesses Feel About Consumerization? Palmer Research conducted a survey in July 2012 that examined how IT professionals are dealing with the increased consumerization of computing devices. The survey was sponsored by Dell and Intel®. Nearly 60 percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that mobile device technology developed for consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets will become the business standard for their organization. As mentioned earlier, innovation in terms of both the power and usability of consumer devices now often meets or exceeds what many employees need to do their jobs. When combined with workers’ familiarity with consumer device form and function, many businesses recognize that devices with their roots in the consumer space represent the future, even in a business environment. Not surprisingly, a similar percentage of the respondents (60 percent) say their organizations have established a policy for employees, vendors and customers who have their own mobile devices to access predetermined internal applications to more efficiently do their jobs. Perhaps the biggest change in mobile devices over the past decade is their transformation from a device that enabled voice and email communication to devices that run applications. The introduction of smartphones and now tablets gave employees the opportunity to be more productive regardless of their location, and many businesses are recognizing the benefits of allowing workers to access applications from their device as long as a policy is place to govern such application usage. Of the 60 percent of respondents who said their organization has such a policy, 75 percent said their policy requires devices to be configured with passwords, 46 percent limit the type of activities their employees can perform at work, 45 percent can conduct remote wiping of the device if it is lost or stolen, and 44 percent require all of the data on the mobile device to be encrypted. Only 36 percent of respondents limit mobile device usage to corporate email systems, further demonstrating the ways in which mobile device usage has expanded beyond voice and email communication. Q: Has your organization established a policy for employees, vendors, and customers who have their own mobile devices to access predetermined internal applications to more efficiently do their jobs? Yes: 60% No: 40%
  • 4. © 2012, QuinStreet, Inc. Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices 3 Datamation® When it comes to securing mobile devices, the data is the real key. It’s not surprising that most businesses are requiring password protection for mobile devices, but beyond passwords there seems to be a divergence in how best to secure these consumer mobile devices. Most MDM applications allow IT departments to set group or user policies, so security policies can differ even within an organization, but some combination of limiting activities or access to data and encrypting data on the devices seems to be the approach most businesses are taking to secure data on mobile devices. Because of stiff penalties for companies that fall victim to a data breach, it will be interesting to see if more uniform policies are implemented in the future. As devices grow more powerful and are more commonly used, the possibility of a catastrophic breach tied directly to a mobile device will increase. Managing and securing all of the mobile devices employees want to put in the corporate network can quickly become a burden to the IT staff. The survey asked the respondents to think about securing mobile devices and identify the factors that are most important when choosing a method for providing that security. System reliability was cited as extremely or very important by 85 percent of the respondents. Following close behind reliability were improved work efficiency (83 percent); manageability of devices (83 percent); and usability (82 percent). Not surprisingly, the respondents to the survey want a reliable system that helps them secure consumer devices in the business that is easy to use and gets the job done quickly and easily. This presents a challenge and an opportunity for MDM solution vendors that need to develop products that can manage and secure devices built by a number of manufacturers running on multiple platforms while also playing catch up with new devices and functionality. As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons employees are turning to consumer devices is because they have more control over the replacement cycle. They can often buy a new laptop, for example, to increase their processing power or get the latest operating system, often giving them a faster, more reliable device at home than at the office. The survey asked respondents what the replacement cycle was for mobile devices like laptops in their organization. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) said their normal replacement cycle was two to three years, while 38 percent said four or more years was normal. Only 4 percent said their replacement cycle was more than five years. When it comes to choosing new mobile devices, the respondents to the survey have a long list of wants. Three-quarters of those surveyed said the length of the battery charge was extremely or very important. The same percentage said it was extremely or very important to ensure the device offered easy access to internal data. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said the warranty was extremely or very important; 60 percent cited operating system flexibility; 58 percent cited both form factor and availability of external applications. This question perhaps best demonstrates the convergence of consumer and business IT devices because the IT professionals in the survey cite many of the same features0 10 20 30 40 50 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years 5+ years 4% 13% 15% 46% 21% Q: What is the replacement cycle in years for mobile devices such as laptops for your users?
  • 5. © 2012, QuinStreet, Inc. Study Shows IT Professionals Expect Continued Consumerization of Computing Devices 4 Datamation® in a device that we might expect from consumer users. It’s easy to picture a consumer looking for a single device for work and personal use desiring a long battery life, access to internal business data, access to external applications, a solid warranty and a certain form factor. Gone are the days when IT departments tried to restrict devices from accessing external applications or prevented personal devices from accessing internal data. Conclusion IT professionals and their organizations are aware of the consumerization of computing devices and are taking steps to ensure they have policies in place that govern personal device usage and to protect corporate data. Interestingly, this trend transcends company size. There was very little difference in responses from business with more than 1,000 employees, less than 100 employees or in between. For hardware manufacturers, it’s important to note that the features IT professionals cite as important considerations when purchasing devices are beginning to more closely align with consumer wish lists. This is further evidence of the convergence of work and personal devices, and device makers would be wise to note this trend in both their products and marketing in the future. For MDM software vendors, the IT professionals made it clear they want security and management solutions that are easy to use and reliable. The challenge for vendors is to keep up with multiple devices and operating systems without creating solutions that are inefficient or cumbersome. For IT professionals, it’s important to recognize that a move toward BYOD policies is not a sign of weakness or surrender. It’s a sign that the proper way to manage and secure devices and data is by managing the devices that are coming into the organization regardless of who brings them in and whether or not it’s policy. If the organization doesn’t support or plan to support BYOD, then supplying devices that have consumer-like features will be more popular with employees. Survey Methodology The survey of 252 respondents was conducted by Palmer Research in July of 2012 using an email invitation sent to email addresses listed in the IT Business Edge database. It has a margin of error of +/- 6.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. Length of battery charge Easy access to internal data Warranty Operating system flexibility Form factor Available External Applications Design Use of green technology Other 75% Q: When considering the purchase of new mobile devices for your employees please rate the importance of the following features that your users will likely request Percent of respondents who said Extremely Important or Very Important: 75% 63% 60% 58% 26% 13% 58% 46% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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