"The trick, as ever, is to allow flexibility and staff choice whilst retaining visibility and control."
Nick Orme, CEO at ITEC
· Only a third of organisations have a bring your own device policy despite 48% of respondents using personal devices for work
· Over half of employees use applications and services unsanctioned by the IT department
1 October 2019 - Employers are failing to keep pace with their employees’ demands for flexible and consumer-focused technology, according to research from Bristol-based managed technology provider ITEC.
The company surveyed 750 UK professionals from a broad range of sectors to create its Workplace Technology Trends report. The goal was to better understand the technology provision and policies – and associated staff expectations – in place across the country’s workplaces, particularly in light of changing norms around mobile working, digital transformation and greater proportions of millennial employees.
ITEC found that a ‘technology rebel’ culture is emerging in many organisations, where employees are using software applications, online services, mobile apps and personal devices for work purposes, despite them being unsanctioned by the company’s IT team.
Only a third (33%) of the organisations surveyed had an official bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place to support staff using their own hardware for work, while a similarly low proportion actively encouraged the use of tools or software that were not supplied as part of the standard IT policy.
Yet despite this, over half of the organisations surveyed had employees using software or technology tools to perform their jobs, even though these were not supplied by the IT department. 44% of respondents said the practice went on in their organisations, with another 7% saying they did so themselves. Similarly, 48% of respondents said staff in their organisations used personal mobile devices for work, and 13% explained that they accessed work emails on their personal phones.
This schism suggests both a culture gap between official organisational policy and workforces themselves, and an opportunity for forward-thinking organisations to engender broader and faster digital transformation by embracing the staff appetite for a wide range of hardware and software.
“When companies first started grappling with the BYOD issue, there was arguably a far narrower range of hardware and software available for employees to access,” said Nick Orme, CEO of ITEC. “From a security and management point of view, it made sense to try and restrict it as tightly as possible.
“Now, with more and more digital-savvy millennials in the typical workplace and a far greater array of powerful devices and applications for them to use, there’s a real opportunity for creativity, innovation and much broader digital transformation, led by staff demand.
Whilst some sectors will always need to be extremely restrictive with regard to staff technology, others can harness this ‘technology rebel’ culture for truly transformative organisational change. The trick, as ever, is to allow flexibility and staff choice whilst retaining visibility and control.”
ITEC’s report on workplace technology trends and the full results of the survey is available HERE.