Exclusive Research Shows CIOs Embrace Consumerization of IT

With BlackBerry and Apple still leading the pack, and tablets and Android rising in the ranks, CIOs surveyed by CIO magazine are widely supporting employee-owned devices

Workers today want more and more flexibility between home and the office and companies are warming up to that idea. The 2011 CIO Magazine Consumerization of IT Survey, conducted in September with a base of 556 CIOs, shows that 49 percent are allowing their employees to do work on personal devices from home or the office.

Currently most companies aren’t yet able to support every possible operating system and device but 44 percent say they are working to expand the list to include more consumer devices, with 74 percent of IT groups still favoring BlackBerry and 67 percent sticking with Apple's iOS.

Tablets, a relatively new addition to the list of consumer devices used in the enterprise, are quickly catching up to smartphones in adoption. Forty-eight percent of those polled say they currently support employee-owned tablets and 59 percent of IT groups are specifically supporting iPads.

Shyam Desigan, CIO and CFO at Volunteers of America Chesapeake has brought tablets to the forefront of his mobile testing. Being that his organization deals with a lot of temporary employees, the case management and time/attendance applications need to be accessible from whichever device the volunteer has at the moment. Desigan says those are the only applications accessible because they have to limit how much critical business information they put on mobile devices. Desigan now supports Android and iOS, and is testing Android tablets.

The ability to access critical business information on-the-go is a driver of the consumerization of IT but more IT leaders are saying that they also need to keep users happy as well as productive. The survey indicates CIOs are getting those results and view consumerization of IT as having a positive impact on user satisfaction (83 percent), user productivity (81 percent) and access to critical business information (74 percent).

Scott Saundry, CTO of law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain, is diversifying his mobile strategy to continue driving those results. Lawyers at the firm are constantly working on the go and need access to corporate applications and email; but more importantly, Saundry says they need mobile devices to work seamlessly and not be disruptive to their workflow.

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