Boss and workers at odds over new tech

IDC survey shows enterprise in NZ may be failing to embrace consumerisation of IT

There is a growing disconnect between what devices and social media employees use, and what employers think their staff are using, according to survey of large organisations in New Zealand.

The Consumerisation of IT study by IDC, which is sponsored by Unisys, surveyed 25 organisations of which 87 percent had more than 1000 workers. The employers (70 percent of which held senior IT positions) were surveyed separately to their 200 employees.

As the below graph demonstrates “unofficial bring-your-own-technology” (BYOT) is rife, but IT departments may be out of touch with what devices employees are using as business tools.

In addition, an increasing number of employees report that laptops and tablets are more critical business devices that the desktop. Also, there is a growing trend among workers using smartphones as vital business tools.

The survey is in its second year. Unisys New Zealand managing director Brett Hodgson says the results were similar last year, but “a year ago enterprise had their head in the sand, now the apathy has gone".

“New Zealand organisations seem to be falling behind in getting ready to serve new generations of mobile, tech-savvy iWorkers. Most IT executives responding to the survey say that their organisations have not yet developed or modified employee-facing corporate applications other than email for their employees to use on mobile devices.

When employers were surveyed on the barriers to adopting BYOT, 87 percent said security was the top concern.

Hodgson says failure to provide IT support for employees on their own devices could have implications when recruiting top talent, as they may expect to be able to use the latest devices and participate actively in social media. Unisys New Zealand supports Apple and Microsoft operating systems for mobile devices, but most employees opting for BYOT in his company were picking the Apple OS.

Hodgson presented the survey findings to a group of technology journalists in Auckland yesterday. He told the group that Unisys has been perceived as a government-centred vendor, but it is “very New Zealand centric”.

Recent commercial ‘wins’ include Air New Zealand (cargo management services), BARNZ (baggage reconciliation solution), Hertz NZ (stealth PCI data encryption), Foodstuffs (POS support), AMI Insurance (virtual tape library), Alliance Group (mainframe), PSIS (end-user support), ASB (mainframe), Westpac (teller applications).

In government 'wins' are the IRD (enterprise services), Transport Authority (drivers licence software) and Ministry of Education (DR datacentre).

Hodgson says the company has developed a new suite of mobile services which include device management, security, applications and infrastructure support. The services will be launched with a telco and a device manufacturer in the New Zealand market in October. He would not say who the other partners were.

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