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Workforce Mobile Apps Take Root in Enterprises

By Josh Galde | September 26, 2013

CATEGORIES: Mobile Quality

Recently Chris Marsh of Yankee Group wrote a great article on the explosion within enterprises to develop and support apps that enable their employees to be more effective and give them the ability to utilize the tools their used to using in their own personal lives. He writes” Employees are spending increasing amounts of time away from their primary workspace and understandably want access to technologies that help them remain productive. The benefit is clear - Yankee Group’s “Enterprise Mobility: Empowered Employee” June survey shows that employees’ self-stated productivity can increase by as much as 40% percent when they are provisioned with mobile devices.

Employees Push; IT Adjusts

While many employers are struggling to manage this technology shift, employees push on regardless. With the growing ubiquity in mobile computing power in their everyday lives, employees are resorting to using a variety of consumer tools and technologies for work purposes. Our surveys show that:

  • 20% of all employees use consumer IM services for work using their smartphone
  • 14% use social networks
  • 8% use consumer web-based productivity tools for work
  • 56% use or would be interested in using consumer productivity apps for work
  • 16% do so even knowing their IT department’s policy is to prohibit their usage.
  • One-third believe they would be more productive at work if they had access to the tools they use in their private lives.

The main reasons why employees resort to their consumer applications is simply familiarity with them from their personal lives, the absence of an alternative provided by and the fact that they are more likely to be updated regularly than work-provided equivalents.

This flood of consumer technologies into the workplace and workflows is compelling them to revise their policies about what devices and technologies are and are not sanctioned in the workplace. This trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Over the past two years IT’s attitude has been forced to adapt. For example, in 2011 33% of organizations said that non-sanctioned apps and devices are absolutely not tolerated and immediately blocked or removed; today that number is only 13%.

In fact, 29% of companies said they allow employees to use any non-harmful app or device AND they provide some support, as opposed to 17% in 2011.

The pace of change of consumerization seems irresistible, but IT departments need to clearly understand the consequences of adopting a permissive policy, as this will open the floodgates to mass usage. Explicitly allowing employees to use consumer tools increases usage from 16% to 64% — a four-fold jump.”

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