How consumerization drives innovation

Summary:Consumerization of IT is a permanent shift still in its infancy, blogs Ted Shadler - but sophisticated companies are harnessing consumerization for the good of the organization.

Forrester has been analyzing the impact of consumerization of IT on business since this seminal 2008 report. And we've collected data to measure the phenomemon since 2009. Did you know that 35 percent of information workers use personal technology for work? And we published a Harvard Business Review Press book, Empowered, on why companies must empower their employees: it's so they can serve the needs of empowered customers.

And now we can directly link consumerization with business outcomes that IT and every other part of a business cares about: innovation, advocacy, and leadership. We've done this with a Q1 2011 survey of 5,102 information workers in North America and Europe, our Workforce Forrsights data.

The report, "How Consumerization Drives Innovation," is chock full of data available to Forrester customers. This post is an excerpt to introduce the outcomes and impact to everybody. We'll use three charts to make the point.

First is the consumerization data. Just how many information workers in North America and Europe do something with technology outside of IT control -- either bring their own smartphone or tablet for work, use unsanctioned Web sites for work, or download applications to a work computer? It's one in three!

Figure 1 Consumerization Data: 35% Of Your Employees Use Personal Technology At Work

Next is our Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operative (HERO) index, a 2x2 matrix of how information workers in North America and Europe feel and act. Does an employee feel empowered to solve customer and business problems? Does an employee act resourcefully with technology to do so? 17% are HEROes -- highly empowered and resourceful operatives.

Figure 2 HERO Index: 17% Of Your Employees Create Most Of The Positive Change

Last is the business impact data. HEROes, who compared with unempowered, unresourceful "disenfranchised" employees, are massively more likely to create positive change, to recommend their company or a job to a friend or family member, and to be the leaders in the company. HEROes are almost twice as likely to be leaders as other segments.

Figure 3 Business Impact Data: HEROes Innovate, Advocate, And Lead

Consumerization of IT is a permanent shift still in its infancy, but already we are seeing sophisticated companies learn how to harness consumerization for the good of the organization. We outline a few of those strategies in the report. Have a consumerization strategy? Please share it.

This data is for you HEROes. It should reassure you that you are not out there alone. Use the data to build your own business case for change. Be a HERO!

Topics: Emerging Tech, CXO

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