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Do You Know Where Your Employee’s Smartphone Is? New Unisys-Sponsored Research Shows IT Organizations Are Playing Catch-Up With Rapid Growth of Consumer Technologies in the Workplace


New global studies reveal organizations are not adequately prepared to manage, support and secure consumerization of IT in the enterprise

BLUE BELL, Pa. - New research sponsored by Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) and conducted by International Data Corp. (IDC) reveals surprising gaps in readiness by global IT organizations to manage, support, secure and ultimately capitalize on the rapidly growing use of consumer technologies and tools in the workplace1.

The “Consumerization of IT” research was conducted in two phases. A Unisys-sponsored study of 2,820 workers in 10 countries found that tech-savvy information workers are blurring traditional lines between home and work in their use of readily available consumer devices and Web-based social media applications. These “iWorkers” report that they are investing their own time and money in advanced consumer devices and applications – technologies often more powerful than those provided by their employers – and are using them interchangeably for business and personal activities.

At the same time, a separate Unisys-sponsored survey of nearly 650 global IT decision-makers reveals that their organizations frequently are not aware of what technologies their employees are using and how the technologies are being used; are providing poor IT support for consumer technologies being used by employees for business purposes; and are not integrating those consumer technologies in their enterprise.

"This research raises important questions as to how well prepared today’s organizations are to weather the tsunami of consumer technologies and products flooding into the workplace and to capitalize on new ways of doing business, connecting with customers, and attracting future workers,” said Sam Gross, vice president, Global IT Outsourcing Solutions, Unisys.

“We are at an inflection point in the history of global computing, as important as the invention of the personal computer and the Web,” Gross added. “The ‘consumerization of IT’ revolution is being driven not top-down by corporate IT departments, but by tech-savvy iWorkers who are hungry for information and rich with ideas on new ways to innovate, serve customers, and operate more efficiently. Our research indicates that organizations have miles to go to get ready for this wave and risk being left behind as fresh competitors exploit the consumer IT tidal wave and upend old business and IT models.”

Key Findings of Unisys-IDC Research

The Unisys-sponsored research revealed a number of surprising disconnects between the consumer IT movement and readiness on the part of organizations.

• Employers don’t seem to have an accurate understanding of what and how many consumer technologies their employees are using in the workplace.

1. IWorkers report using an average of four consumer devices and multiple third-party applications, such as social networking sites, in the course of their day.

2. IWorkers in the survey reported that they are using smartphones, laptops and mobile phones in the workplace at nearly twice the rate reported by employers.

3. About 50 percent of devices are used for both personal and business use; data is freely intermingled.

4. Despite this apparent reality gap, 73 percent of IT executives surveyed describe their enterprise networks as very secure.

• IWorkers are routinely using consumer technologies and applications for business, but give their employers poor grades for the internal IT support they provide for these technologies.

1. More than 40 percent of iWorkers surveyed use instant messaging and text messaging for business; nearly a quarter use blogs and professional online communities for business purposes.

2. From 2009 to 2014, the number of iWorkers using smartphones for work is expected to nearly double, according to IDC.

3. Despite this widespread usage, fewer than half of employers allow iWorkers to access enterprise applications via smartphones.

4. And iWorkers give their employers below-average ratings for the IT support that their organizations provide for such consumer technologies.

• Employees say their employers are more permissive about use of consumer technologies than is reported to be the case by organizations.

1. 69 percent of iWorkers say they can access non-work-related websites, while only 44 percent of their employersreport this to be the case.

2. 52 percent of iWorkers say they can store personal data and files on company resources, while only 37 percent of employers say this is the case.

• Employers expect to increase business use of social networking applications significantly in the next year, yet they are not integrating those applications with their enterprise apps and often lack basic guidelines and policies governing the use of social media in the workplace.

1. Across the board, enterprises report that they expect to increase their use of social networking tools like blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for business purposes over the next 12 months. Respondents in the survey indicate that business usage of these applications is expected to grow from 10-30 percent in the next year.

2. Despite this trend, nearly half of all iWorkers surveyed (46 percent) give their employers extremely low marks for the integration of consumer devices and social networks with enterprise applications.

3. 40 percent of organizations surveyed say that they don’t have guidelines for social media use in the workplace.

• Employees are overwhelmingly willing to buy their own consumer technologies for use at work, yet employers still want to purchase standardized technologies for them.

1. 95 percent of iWorkers report that they use at least one self-purchased device for work.

2. Despite employee willingness to buy and train themselves on their own consumer technologies, nearly 70 percent of IT decision-makers report that they continue traditional models to purchase employees’ devices and cover business-related charges.

3. Only about 30 percent of businesses surveyed say they are likely to implement a digital allowance or stipend program within two years to fund employees’ purchases.

• Tech-savvy iWorkers want to work for tech-savvy employers, yet most enterprises seem not to recognize the importance of this qualitative factor in being an employer of choice.

1. A majority of employees indicate that the technology tools provided to them and supported by their organizations would be a critical or positive factor in taking a job with a new employer.

2. Despite this, only about a third of organizations surveyed say that usage of consumer technologies in the workplace is key to employee retention and productivity.

“The research shows a profound disconnect between what iWorkers are doing with consumer technologies in the enterprise and what IT leaders believe is happening in their organizations,” said John Gantz, chief research officer and senior vice president, IDC. “As the old adage goes, you cannot manage what you don’t measure. IT leaders cannot effectively secure, manage or plan for the future without an accurate understanding of the trend and its implications. The ‘consumerization of IT’ trend will turn existing IT and business models on their heads, and the time to get ready is now.”

The complete results of the two Unisys-sponsored IDC studies, along with additional resources and commentary from Unisys and independent experts, are available on the Unisys “Consumer-Powered IT” blog, located at Business leaders can also conduct a readiness self-assessment at that will help them determine their organization’s ability to harness and capitalize on this massive consumer trend.

Note to Editors

1IDC White Paper sponsored by Unisys, A Consumer Revolution in the Enterprise, Doc #6068, June 2010.
About Unisys

Unisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialize in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilization of their data centers, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernize their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With approximately 24,000 employees, Unisys serves commercial organizations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit


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