End users becoming accidental IT managers: survey

End users becoming accidental IT managers: survey

Summary: New Accenture survey of of 4,000 employees finds a large proportion make their own technology decisions, and one-fourth bring their own devices or access their own applications from the Internet.


Over the years, as organizations embraced service oriented architecture, cloud and social media, there has been a long and simmering debate as to how much leeway business users should have in building or deploying their own applications.

Now, these trends, combined with the budding "bring your own device" (BYOD) phenomenon, are turning many business end users into accidental IT managers. Many of today's businesses are being run by employees on their own devices, rather than equipment specified and purchased by IT.

A new Accenture survey of of 4,000 employees from across the globe finds a large proportion (43%) feel comfortable and capable of making their own technology decisions for work. There is also an increasing trend for employee-driven technological innovation, as 24% of employees admitted to coming up with their own consumer technology solution to help solve a business problem.

This may sound threatening to IT departments, bit It means IT can turn its attention to higher-order activities such as strategizing with the business.

However, IT consumerization often means end-runs around IT and the organization's infrastructure. The survey finds one in four (23%) employees admit they now regularly use personal consumer devices and applications for work related activities, and 14% use them to access enterprise applications and databases. In addition, 27% say they routinely use non-corporate applications downloaded from the Internet to do their work.

A lot of employees even prefer their own options. Almost half (45%) say that personal consumer devices and software applications are more useful than the tools and applications provided by their IT department.

Is management upset about all these devices? Not really -- 54% of IT executives and 49% of management executives say they also bring their own devices into the workplace. In fact, 88% agree that consumer technology used by their employees can improve job satisfaction.

The study makes the following recommendations when it comes to bringing consumer devices into the workplace:

  • Broaden the scope of allowable devices and applications (while simultaneously tailoring and updating policies to the needs of the workforce).
  • Promoting technology choice (for example by providing stipends to purchase consumer tech as a job benefit).
  • Proactively advocate consumer technologies (by actively pushing smartphone applications or technology sandboxes into the workplace.
  • Allow for safe experimentations and/or segmenting consumer IT needs by role (by developing a usage profile for each job description).

Topic: CXO

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  • RE: End users becoming accidental IT managers: survey

    Yeah, end users never need IT until one of their personal gadgets screws up their computer and then they come crying to us. Or, they have no idea how to use their personal gadget that they only read about and then purchased. "IT how do I use this?" -
    • RE: End users becoming accidental IT managers: survey

      Oh goodness, that's so true!
      I can't count how many times I've been asked questions about personal devices, or how to do things at home. Now imagine if they brought their home stuff in? I might as well be running home tech support in that case.
  • RE: End users becoming accidental IT managers: survey

    I agree with mike2k.
    Plus; this choice of freedom someones cry for will create a administrative mess. It will also threat many employees, the "not cool guys".
    Sorry Accenture, not a well done work. It smells market and lobbying and bad questions. Or Joe choosed to read it with the BYO lobbying glasses on.

    Go read my BYOD part 2 post on inmaxmind.com 'BYOD 2 - A possibillity for the cool guys'. And watch out for part 3.
  • RE: End users becoming accidental IT managers: survey

    Yes, employees will bring their own devices if they feel that IT supplied tools are not adequate. They have their jobs to do.

    From the company's point of view, control of company information is critical, especially in those areas which need to deal with HIPAA information such as the medical field. Therefore, IT needs to insure that controls over those devices, even personal ones, are in place to prevent the release of any information. IT may need to restrict certain devices from use. That may sound draconian, but protection of all company assets is also the responsibility of its employees.
    linux for me
  • Represents growing sense of employee self-importance ...

    ... which is not necessarily in an enterprise's interest.

    Too many enterprises are trying to contain turnover by pandering to employees' wants and desires, which only makes their workforces more fickle and selfish, and creates a workplace more ruled by personal preferences rather than organisational goals.

    The question is: Why should a large enterprise of thoudands of employees pander to an individual's personal preferences?

    It shoudn't where such diversity interferes or costs too much, and not care where it doesn't compromise the goals.
  • RE: End users becoming accidental IT managers: survey

    IT clients are highly imaginative when screwing the pooch.