Middle East embracing consumerisation of IT

Joint Dell-Intel study finds developing markets are ahead of developed rivals in allowing employees to use their own IT in the workplace

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Middle East embracing consumerisation of IT The iPad is one of the devices spurring the consumerisation of IT. (Getty Images)
By  Ben Furfie Published  January 22, 2012

Developing markets, such as the Middle East, are embracing consumerisation of technology quicker than their developed counterparts, results of a a joint Dell-Intel study have found.

The study, which questioned 8,360 employees across a variety of verticals and company sizes, also found that there was a strong link between IT provision and morale, as well as a trend for smaller companies to be further ahead in their acceptance of the trend than larger enterprises.

According to the report, developing markets were ahead of those classified as developed in allowing the use of employee owned devices within the enterprise. It also found that the employees themselves were also far more comfortable with the changes coming about through trends such as the consumerisation of the internet than their counterparts in markets such as the Western Europe and North America.

That level of comfort had a knock on effect, with six out of ten employees questioned saying that they felt using their IT equipment of their own choice would make them enjoy their jobs more. However, the number of employees actually able to choose their own hardware depended largely on which sector of the economy they work in.

The study found that while 45 per cent of private sector employees had some level of choice when it comes to which technology they can use in the workplace, while only 32 per cent of public sector workers could do so.

It also discovered that there is a disparity in the level of acceptance of technology as a problem solver, with 87 per cent of employees that work in the media and engineering saying extolling the value of technology compared with 67 per cent in the emergency and armed services.

In addition, it also revealed that workers would rather be judged on the quality of the work produced, rather than the length of time spend in the office. That will come as a blow to executives who hoped the emerging field of mobility would see an increase in worker productivity. Indeed, two-thirds of those question stated that they felt their workloads exceeded what is possible in a 9-to-5 day.

“As technologies continue to evolve and individuals becomes more sophisticated in their usage, so will the desire to transfer these experiences to the workplace to be more productive and effective,” said Paul Bell, president of public large enterprise at Dell.

“The results of this research demonstrate the growing correlation between quality and choice of technology access within the workplace, and employee satisfaction, productivity and innovation,” he added. “Smart organisations can no longer ignore the consumerisation of IT phenomenon and should be aware of the forthcoming changes and access how best to adapt IT to meet growing employee demands.”

Dave Buchholz, principle engineer at Intel’s client research and pathfinding division echoed Bell, adding: “As consumerisation continues to take hold in the corporate world, the number and types of devices IT is being asked to provide support to is exploding. By giving employees the opportunity to choose the device they are most comfortable with using, based on the service and the environment, IT can power a new wave of employees that are highly productive, and have the power to drive innovation and collaboration within their organisations.”

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