Consumerization: What is in Store for IT?


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Intel’s Insights and Market Research Group, in collaboration with Maritz, performed a multiphase research project to gain in-depth insights into how workers and IT feel and manage these changes.

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Consumerization: What is in Store for IT?

  1. 1. What is Consumerization? Insights and Market Research “(there is)…an “increasing influence that our technology experience as consumers – both hardware and apps- has on the technology that we expect to use at work.” (Microsoft)2IMR Position Paper Consumer technology advancements are being introduced at an ever increasing rateConsumerization: What is in Store and individuals are adopting these newfor IT? technologies for work related uses at a rapid pace. However, enterprise IT departments areEarl Bless, Business Research Analyst, Intel feeling left behind as they struggle to respondMichael Alanson, Strategic Consulting Director and to these rapid changes.Chelsey Noble, Project Director, MaritzJuly 2010 Because of this increasing gap between what is being adopted by consumers vs. what is offered by IT, there is a growing disconnect between“The office has gone from being the place the technologies a techsavvy worker uses forwhere you spend time with cutting-edge their personal life and those provided to themtechnology, to a technological bone yard by their employer for work purposes. This gap inwhere youre perpetually trapped about three expectations creates a strain on IT departmentsyears in the past.” who balance the evolving desires of workers with the needs of the company.Ars Technica1 This trend has been termed “TheThe technology adoption curve is no longer consumerization of technology” by John Taylorbeing driven by IT departments in large and Douglas Neal of CSCs Leading Edgeenterprises, but rather by techsavvy workers Forum. It’s basic tenant is, “Individuals, not ITusing their own personal devices for work. organizations, are fuelling the next wave of ITThese individuals are influencing and putting adoption.” and in turn pressuring businesses topressure on IT departments to keep up. As catch up.such, IT must re-evaluate the methods in whichthey segment and serve their workforce in order Evolution of Technologyto stay relevant. Intel’s Insights and MarketResearch Group, in collaboration with Maritz, In just 20 years, individuals’ experience withperformed a multiphase research project to technology has evolved and changed moregain in-depth insights into how workers and IT quickly than likely any other time in history.feel and manage these changes.This paper will outline the key findings from thatstudy including:1. What is Consumerization?2. Why is Consumerization important totechsavvy workers, what needs does it satisfy?3. The “civil war” brewing between techsavvyworkers and IT.4. Likely impact to deployment models.5. Implications The evolution of technology adoption becoming consumer rather than business driven can be traced to the proliferation of1Analysis, IT Consumerization and the Future of Work, ArsTechnica 7/2008 2 Consumerization of IT, Microsoft in the Enterprise 2009
  2. 2. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010broadband access in the home. According to understand worker behaviors and determineArs Technica, how Intel can better provide solutions to both consumers and IT professionals.“The office has gone from being the placewhere you spend time with cutting-edge Techsavvy workers as well as IT professionalstechnology, to a technological bone yard were interviewed in a three-phase researchwhere youre perpetually trapped about three study in order to develop a picture of this trendyears in the past.”3 as seen by those directly involved.Before widespread home PC penetration and Techsavvy workers from the US and UKbroadband access, advancements would first participated in a one hour moderated onlinebe adopted by large companies and take discussion. From these workers a few wereyears to filter down, eventually gaining traction asked to continue the study by participating inwith the consumer population. As the timeline a daily diary and online bulletin boardabove shows PDA and smart phones were in discussion over the course of two weeks toexistence in the early 90’s. However without observe and document their frustrations andwidespread consumer interaction with the web experiences using technology to balance workat home, these tools remained of limited use and home. Finally, IT professionals participatedand were strictly work devices. Even email in a separate online discussion in which theywould not become an essential part of provided their own views of consumerization, aseveryday home life until broadband access well as reacting to the views gathered from thebecame common. techsavvy workers.As a result, as consumers became equally “Work and life should not require such a changeconnected at home and work (If not more so), in gears in order to communicate to onethe evolutionary path of technology another.” (Techsavvy worker)fundamentally changed. Quick, constant,reliable access to the internet at home quickly While they may have never heard the termchanged the way consumers interacted with all consumerization, most knowledge workers havesorts of information and technology. Individuals experienced the frustration that comes fromtrained by the web expect information faster having tools available at work that pale inthrough nearly limitless sources, in all areas of comparison to those they have access totheir life – personal and professional. No longer personally.did you have to go to work to have access to aPC and broadband internet. This level of 53% of techsavvy workers believe “It would beadoption and access began the era in which beneficial to have work tools more similar toindividuals started to drive the adoption curve their personal tools.”and consumerization of IT emerged. 41% of IT Professionals agree that workers’Intel’s Insights and Market Research group experience with consumer designedpartnered with Maritz Research to investigate technology in their personal life makes themthe impact of consumerization on IT push IT for similar solutions in the workplace.departments and workers to gain insight intohow consumerization impacts behavior of One major disconnect for the techsavvy workerworkers and the barriers to adoption for IT. This is the issue of choice. For their homestudy shed light into consumerization’s impact technology, they not only have the choice ofand resulted in a yearlong research agenda to the device or software itself, but also its setup and many personal touches.3 Ars Technica 7/2008 2
  3. 3. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010 among techsavvy workers to use familiarCustomization is an important aspect of many communication and collaboration toolsconsumer technologies, creating an actually supports objectives stated by many ITenvironment in which workers are used to professionals in our study,having things just the way they like them. Thisnaturally makes work technology seem even “(We want to…provide new methods formore inflexible and rigid. Workers are often employees to collaborate, and communicatelonging to have “My favorite” aspects applied together.” (IT Professional)to their professional lives as well. As seen below,for many, there is a desire to be able to install Why is Consumerization Important?the additional software they need or have thechoice of additional computing devices, likely a “Don’t ask me to produce more and withsmart phone, to better enable work life greater speed and still slow me down withbalance. inflexible or outdated technology.” (Techsavvy worker) The traditional sense of work / home separation both in terms of physical space as well as time continues to erode, accelerated by technology and globalization of workforces. Many knowledge workers are expected to be available for requests after hours, be asked to work from nontraditional locations, or beWhile some of these “personal” touches don’t available in multiple forms of communication.have a specific benefit to the employer, many We learned that while techsavvy workers willof them are seen as making the employee accept this new reality, they also expectmore efficient and productive (Both directly concessions and flexibility on the part ofand indirectly). employers as a result.Clearly workers have a desire to create an Several themes emerged in our discussion withenvironment that supports their personal and knowledge workers – with flexibility andwork lives. relevance the overriding expectation.Productivity Through Familiarity “Workers would benefit from their familiaritywith these consumer products. Workers alreadyuse it in their personal lives and they wouldlikely find it easy to apply in a job setting.”(Techsavvy worker)Familiarity is a theme workers frequentlymentioned in the study, particularly in the areaof communication. Workers have alreadymastered a skill set for communication in their From our study we identified the following needspersonal lives and feel that allowing tools in the techsavvy workers have and as result areworkplace such as instant messaging, blogs, or driving the behaviors we observed with theirother online collaboration sites, would leverage employers.these skills in productive ways. This desire 3
  4. 4. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010Reciprocation: Employers expect workers to be like blogs, wikis, or a variety of cloud-basedmore accessible for work than in the past; productivity apps for work and many aretherefore, these workers expect that employers already finding ways to do so. What thisprovide choices in work location, schedule, and indicates is that the degree of techsavvy andtechnology tools that work best for them in not just age is a key characteristic.those locations and times.Adaptation: Techsavvy workers want theiremployers to adapt to their preferences such asoperating system or preferred applicationsrather than be “Straight jacketed” by IT’sstandard image or build.Speed and Access: These workers have nopatience for restrictions. They want to be ableto quickly access what they need, when theyneed it – without jumping through hoops. Forthem, IT excuses are just not acceptable. Theyexpect IT to manage security concerns or other We also found that techsavvy workers of alllimitations. ages are experiencing a disconnect between their personal and professional options. “I’m frustrated that I cant access mycompanys exchange server through my 61% of Gen Y and 50% of 30+ techsavvy workersiPhone. I am forced to log into the exchange believe the technology tools they use in theirservers webmail. I really dont see the personal/social life are more efficient anddifference in security if I can access mail one productive than those used in their work life.way or the other.” (Techsavvy worker) Career and Skill Sets are Key MotivatorsRelevance: Most importantly, these techsavvyworkers desire to be treated as adults, withoutexcessive protections or limitations. They wantless restrictions that prevent them from keepingup with the latest practices or technologieswhich keep them productive and able tocontribute the company they work for.Techsavvy Workers of All Ages, Not Just Gen Y,are Driving Consumerization. 83% of our techsavvy workers feel that knowledge of a wide variety of technologies willGeneration Y employees (30 years old or make them a more valuable employee -- or ayounger) have simply grown up with the more desirable hire for other companies andinternet and technology. Many have had a cell most feel that by not having the latest tools theyphone since High School, and certainly cannot are at a disadvantage. It’s clear that thesefathom a work environment without email, IM, workers believe that technology skills are criticalor other communication technologies. Our and differentiating.research found that these and older, techsavvyworkers have a strong desire to use Drilling further down, this feeling is especiallynontraditional, consumer based applications prevalent among more techsavvy employee 4
  5. 5. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010groups compared to the rest of the workingpopulation surveyed. These individuals feel thegap between consumer and businesstechnology most deeply because they adoptadvanced technology quickly in their personallives. Feeling disadvantaged in their careermay motivate these employees to push evenharder on their IT department to allowconsumer based technologies.Surprisingly we found that many of those in HRor IT management who participated in ourstudy have not recognized the disadvantageand potential risk in not enabling their moretechsavvy workers. In our study, only half of ITmanagement and even less of those in HRagreed with the statement, “We put ourcompany at a disadvantage to attract top 65% of Knowledge Workers reported they losetalent when the company does not use the more than one hour each week due tolatest technology tools.” technology issues.Consumerization’s Resulting “Civil War” This tension is felt most in the area ofWith Employees: productivity.Friction Exists “Today I lost about 15 minutes of productivity when my handheld froze and had to be re-As a natural result of the rise of consumerization, booted. This is common with handhelds that mythere is a growth in tension between IT and company uses… The cost of productivity lossesknowledge workers, who see IT as rigid, cheap could be measured in tens of thousands ofand lagging regarding technology – this is dollars.” (Techsavvy worker)especially true for the most techsavvy workers. Productivity loss appears to be a signiifcantOur study uncovered a perception gap area of disagreement. When IT professionalsbetween how techsavvy workers perceive their were asked to estimate productivity loss perIT departments and how those IT departments week by their employees only 32% estimated afelt they were perceived by techsavvy workers. loss of an hour a week When quoted the productivity loss reported by workers, some IT professionals felt the number was surprising, while others found the loss expected. Surprised or not, the majority felt this sort of time loss was unacceptable. “IT should be concerned. Even an hour a week is a 2.5% productivity loss. Thats everybodys business.” (IT professional) 5
  6. 6. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010IT professionals are hesitant to believe that new In our research, we found many examples ofconsumer based technology is the answer to techsavvy workers figuring out ways to use theirthe problem and rather feel that training on desired technology over what IT provides. Forcurrent technology is the answer. example:53% believe adequate training on current Kareni, a 26 year old sourcing consultant,technology would be more effective than new prefers an unapproved MacBook over hertechnology. company provided laptop. She describes her daily workspace as a “pair of computers with a36% feel the current technology is not used to router on her work desk”.its best potential. “I take to work my MacBook Pro everydayThe tension builds between IT, who would like to because my work laptop is too slow. Because Isee better advantage taken of technology they have to use both laptops, Ive brought my owndo provide and techsavvy workers, who seek to router to work in order to split the Internetuse the consumer technology they are familiar connection.” (Karen, techsavvy worker)and comfortable with. This creates an ongoingstruggle with each side believing they have the Karen switches between machines for differentbest option. tasks, finding it painful to work on the company machine when she knows her Mac can do it65% of IT professionals agree that they are the faster and is set up to her preferences.ones to solve and understand user frustrations Davidii, a 41 year old techsavvy worker, uses aHowever IT is more mixed on where the workaround to use his preferred device; heinfluence to set direction lies and even more, forwards calls from his employer provided basic45%, feel that senior management makes handset to his personal iPhone.unreasonable requests of the IT department. “I feel much more productive replying to upper management and account teams via their corporate e-mail. But it is much more productive having one device.” (David, techsavvy worker) Others report using unapproved online programs such as for storage.IT “Civil War” Employees View: “Our company file exchange drive is too slowIn the meantime, workers are simply finding and bloated, so we use Dropbox on the hush-ways on their own to solve some of their hush.” (Karen, techsavvy worker)frustration, working with or against IT. 6
  7. 7. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010A variety of messaging services were also Ignore it: Often IT turns a blind eye tomentioned, often because they are more divergences from policy. IT professionals saycomfortable or workers feel they provide they know workers are using technologiesoptions their IT departments cannot. against their policies but do nothing to stop them. Neither do they feel their department isIT “Civil War” IT’s Response: doing anything to solve the needs which create the problem. “This occurs all the time, and is too often tolerated. The biggest implication is that the problem doesnt truly get solved, just worked around.” (IT Professional) IT and Employees Do Agree on Some ThingsIT is aware that these kinds of workarounds aretaking place. In our study we found that the In many ways IT does understand theirreactions of IT professionals to these activities employees’ pain points. Only 36% of ITtend to follow three broad reactions. These professionals believe their department is on theapproaches existed in IT shops in all business cutting edge, and half of IT professionals wouldsizes. only rate their department as doing “Somewhat well” when it comes to providing theOpposition: Some confront the situation from technology their employees need. It is not soan adversarial position. They find it frustrating to much that IT is completely out of touch withhave users bypass policies that are put in place employees but rather there are larger reasonsand take offense to techsavvy workers trying to why the technology provided falls short ofwork the system. workers expectations.“There is one admin workaround that is fairly In fact, most IT professionals agree that certainwell known by the IT savvy. It basically means restrictions put in place by IT can hinderthat all of our security is for nothing if one employee productivity. They often agree withmalicious user wants to infect us!” (IT Professional) employees concerning which restrictions to remove to best increase productiviity. A keyCollaboration: Others approach this problem finding we learned is:with an open mindset, believing theseworkarounds expose the unmet needs of IT and techsavvy employees agree that greateremployees that IT should take into access, from multiple locations and/or devices,consideration. will provide the greatest benefit to productivity.“It does occur, although not encouraged. In my Secondarily, employees and IT agree thatview it denotes a lack of adequate technology decreasing the need for device standardizationprovided to users by the IT department.” across the company would also offer a(IT Professional) considerable advantage. Ultimately though, while IT may agree that restrictions can hamperThey see opportunity to work together to create productivity, there are still obstacles tosolutions that meet the needs of even the most removing these and implementing moretechsavvy while meeting company “Open” models.requirements. 7
  8. 8. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010IT Concerns/Barriers rather not purchase their own devices. Therefore, to really keep up with employeeIT is generally not prepared to adopt demands, device refresh rates would need totechnology as soon as it is introduced. This increase. In our study the majority of ITcreates a situation in which implementation of professionals state that their company can onlynew technologies, and by extension, update general PCs every 3-5 years with theproductivity improvement lags. refresh cycle in the UK slightly outpacing that in the US.Security is a top concern among IT. Frequentlymentioned in our research is that expanding Security, support and costs are concerns thatoptions in terms of devices, services, or software need to be addressed and weighed againstrequires additional attention to the security of the cost of potential productivity losses. Whileeach and how they operate in the IT not asked directly in our study, it appears thatenvironment. few, if any companies measure the impact of their IT strategies on workers’ productivity. As aTechsavvy workers primary demand is for more result, the case for or against consumerization isand easier access, this presents challenges to IT not based on ROI but rather thewho must secure all the methods of access as aforementioned barriers.well as any data that may be retrieved. As aresult, the type and sensitivity of data acompany works with will drive its ability orinability to meet workers desire to use theirchosen devices and applications.Ability of user self support is also a major factorfrequently mentioned. If employees are givenmore freedom in the types of devices orapplications they use, the support needs will besignificantly greater. For this reason many havetaken the approach to allow alternative optionsin devices or programs to be allowed but with a“Your own risk” agreement. Future Impact: A New Normal?“If we think the user community will support theirown environment and machines we are looking In this and previous Intel studies with IT decisionat a train wreck.” (IT Professional) makers, the future usage model of many to one computing was clearly articulated by many.4In case of a problem, the user would be Clearly, IT decision makers are experiencing theresponsible for troubleshooting. However ever rapid pace of technology evolution and itsskepticism was a common sentiment focusing increased adoption and demands placed onon the ability of users to support their own them by more techsavvy workers.hardware. “Others now have expertise with certainHardware costs of keeping up with the technologies. I’m no longer the smartest guydemands of these workers may be prohibitive about technology anymore.” (IT Professional, IMR Small Business BOA)as well. We found that while some are currentlyusing their own devices as a way to push IT, it isnot their preference. These workers would 4 IMR Future of the Business Client 2009 and IMR Small Business BOA 2009 8
  9. 9. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010As discussed earlier, a key need of techsavvyworkers is the desire to have access to their 60% use a smartphone for work purposes,work and information in a variety of locations. another 31% desire one.Many to one compute models are key tosatisfying this need. As workers have learned about the advantages to using smartphones in their personal life, theyBy not adopting there is a risk to companies seek to have that same ease and productivitywho may disenfranchise a key employee for work.segment. Techsavvy workers feel the most strainbetween their personal and professional 45% say having access to work through theirtechnology tools and, as a result, feel the most personal phone would improve their overallheld back both day-to-day and in their long- productivity.term career. As we discussed earlier, theseworkers are just not Gen Y but rather techsavvy Similarly nearly half believe having their choiceworkers of all ages. of phone would offer productivity benefits as well. Thus, having access is a step but also keyWhile only 14% of workers in our study have left is having access from their preferred device.a company solely due to IT / technology issues,we believe that workers who are most adept Perhaps directly related to the pressure fromand comfortable with technology have the employees, our study showed that smartphonespotential to add the most value to companies seem to be the area of consumer technology ITthat rely on the production from knowledge / most accepts or is willing to adopt/considercreative type workers. adopting.We conclude that companies that cannot find When asked what changes to IT policy theyways to satisfy the needs of these workers risk foresaw in the next few years, many mentionedalienating and losing those employees that are greater access for smartphones to networkmost critical to their business’ success. resources, as well as potentially developing applications for these devices to aidWhat Models of Adoption are Likely? employees. What is unknown is whether the increased adoption of netbooks and tablets will follow this trend. One reason why it may be unlikely is that unlike those devices, which are still mostly home bound, mobile phones represent the preferred out of home device carried by most.Use of Personal Mobile Phones for Work Are First Bring Your Own Pc (BYO-PC) Will Likely Be Key for Few.According to data from ComScore,smartphones account for roughly one out of Increased combination of the work PC andfive of the handsets used in the United States. personal PC into a single machine is an aspectsmartphones have evolved into part of life for of consumerization proposed by some industryusers which goes way beyond basic analysts. BYO PC, is where the employee iscommunication functions. given a stipend in order to select a computer that would then be used in both personal and 9
  10. 10. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010professional settings. about data security, employee privacy, and the ability of workers to truly support themselves will“I would prefer to use my employer provided make BYO-PC a niche model. What is apparentlaptop. This is because I like to try and separate among companies, who are considering thiswork from personal usage.” (Techsavvy worker) model, is that the ability to segment / identify workers is key.BYO-PC would certainly solve a large portion oftechsavvy workers complaints. However, while 75% of companies would not consider BYO-PC42% of workers in our study feel their personal for any of their is desirable in terms of speed andfunctionality, many hesitate to combine their Most companies would not consider BYO-PC forpersonal and professional lives by using only any workers, those who do considered highone computer. Most often they are concerned degrees of BYO PC skewed toward smallerwith exposing their personal life to their companies in our research. Our data suggestsemployer if they were to use one computer for however, that BYO-PC will solve the needs or beboth personal and professional uses. deployed to only a segment of the workforce.Kraft Foods Inc has recently employed a BYO - ImplicationsPC strategy, allowing certain employees whodo not deal with particularly sensitive data, to First we conclude that the behaviors that willtake a stipend in exchange for purchasing their shape working styles, and subsequently businessown PC. The challenge is that this PC will not be features in the future may already be a part ofsupported in a traditional sense, instead, workers’ personal lives today.“Employees will solve their own problems with However, while there is a growing influencehelp from blogs and discussion boards written among techsavvy workers, in the end IT is theby the company’s information systems final hurdle / decision maker as to what isdepartment.” 5 deployed in business.A Kraft spokesperson indicated that while there Second, there is an opportunity that byare some cost savings by using this model it is understanding workers IT can control costs and“Not major numbers” and the intent is really to better serve workers. Booze Allen Hamilton6allow users their preferred technology. suggested in 2003 that IT departments could reduce IT costs by up to 40% by segmentingBeing able to segment the environment is their worker base, offering different productskey…Nomads and settlers, if they are nomads and services to those segments.then we think about other solutions”(Intel EBOA)(Consumerization is a) Showstopper for at leasta portion of workers …managed workers whoare frequently working with highly valuabledata…(Intel EBOA)While this model is being tested with somesuccess at companies such as Kraft, concerns5 6 Chicago Breaking Business “Kraft Tries Bring Your Own No Place Left to Squeeze, Rethinking IT Cost Managementcomputer Program” 5/2010 Strategies, Booze Allen Hamilton, 2003 10
  11. 11. IMR Position Paper DATEConsumerization: What is in Store for IT July 2010 i Name changed from study ii Named changed from studyAccording to our study only 56% of ITprofessionals feel they truly understand thetechnology needs of all the workers theysupport. And over one-third of IT Professionalswish they could spend more time withdepartment managers in order to more fullyunderstand their needs.Finally we conclude that consumerization isindeed the increasing influence that ourtechnology experience as consumers has onthe technology that we expect to use at workand that it is an ongoing evolution and not ashort term trend.There are two implications. First, as we see inamong tech savvy knowledge workers, there isan opportunity to address “Work / life balance”needs in communications. Past studies on theidea of “On the go” have shown that featuresthat would enable or be used forcommunications, staying connected andgetting things done resonated emotionally withconsumers.Second, understanding the potentialproductivity / workplace benefits or appeal inconsumer research can provide early warningsignals of the impacts consumer devices mayhave in the enterprise. 11