One Year On, Too Many IT Groups Still Struggle with Consumerization

July 12th, 2011Disruptive IT Trends


The results of the second annual Unisys-sponsored IDC research on the consumerization of IT are in, and for IT, the picture isn’t pretty. Predictably, the global survey of more than 3,000 iWorkers and IT executives shows the use of consumer technologies, from devices to social applications, accelerating throughout the enterprise (see figure 1).

Here’s what we found most surprising — even alarming: While last year’s Unisys-IDC study found a wide gap between the penetration of consumer technologies in the workplace and IT’s support for them, IT leaders have done astonishingly little in the interim to close that gap. In fact, our 2011 survey found that the divide between IT workers’ use of consumer technology and IT decision makers’ readiness to support and capitalize on consumerization is growing.

We call this the “Consumerization Gap.” The IT decision makers we surveyed certainly aren’t blind to the trend. They agree that consumerization is a growing and potentially beneficial movement, and they see the need to support it (see figure 2).

But when it comes to planning and delivering that support, IT continues to lag in a number of crucial areas. For example, the IT respondents rate themselves lower now than in 2010 for the support they provide for consumer technologies.

There are a variety of factors contributing to IT’s decreased performance rating, which we’ll cover in future posts. But one of the most startling is simple lack of awareness. IT decision makers underestimate, by 50 percent or more, the extent to which consumer and social technologies have penetrated their organizations (see figure 3).

Given this dangerously skewed perception of their internal technology landscape, is it any wonder that IT organizations are, overall, slowly becoming overwhelmed by consumerization? Worse, they are missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to exploit a trend that can make their workers more productive, their organizations more cost-efficient, and their business more competitive.

We’ll be diving into more of the factors fueling the widening of the Consumerization Gap in our next post. Until then, tell us what you think. Is there a Consumerization Gap in your organization? How bad is it? Alternatively, is your company making good use of consumer tech? How so?