Numbers you need to know: Employees take tech to work

More than ever, workers want to take advantage of the technology they use in their everyday lives to help them do their jobs better. Forrester Research’s first-quarter Forrsights for Business Technology survey shows that although the practice isn’t widespread, employees are increasingly using applications and devices for work that have not been approved by their companies.

According to the survey, 37 percent of workers said they’ve used their own PC or smartphone for work, and 26 percent have gone so far as using their own money to buy software or other technology.

Forrester also found that 15 percent of users have downloaded unauthorized applications to their work computers in the past year. Of those users, 67 percent have used two to five unauthorized applications for work and 39 percent said they use those apps daily or several times a day.

Rogue applications are cause for concern for IT departments charged with protecting the corporate network from outside threats and ensuring compliance. But CIOs are aware that the workplace is evolving beyond the office and may be more tolerant of letting employees use their own devices to stay connected from anywhere.

Lon Anderson, vice president of corporate IT at ICF International, says that although his company is a federal contractor, “we have changed our policy to allow other devices to connect to our network, in addition to the company standard [BlackBerry]. We are taking steps to do it in a secure way that allows flexibility. It’s an obligation on IT’s part to adapt to changes in the environment.”

Some workers are trying to implement changes through the proper channels, however. Twenty-five percent have convinced their company to buy something new and 22 percent have convinced their boss to change the way they do something at work.

Chenxi Wang, a vice president and analyst at Forrester, expects these trends to continue because “that’s what the competitive landscape demands.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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