When company IT is ‘consumerized’

By Lisa Ellis, Jeffrey Saret, and Peter Weed

More employees are using tablet devices and smartphones for work-related tasks, and that’s raising security concerns.

The near ubiquity of smartphones and the growing use of tablet devices are changing the corporate IT landscape, as employees increasingly use their own mobile devices for workplace tasks. Many companies, of course, have supported and even encouraged employees to work remotely and have issued corporate smartphones and enabled intranet access from home computers. But tech-savvy workers are pushing the boundaries. A McKinsey survey of 3,000 employees who use their own devices for work shows they deploy them not just for business calls and e-mail but also to access employer IT applications and corporate intranets and for other work-related tasks (exhibit).

Exhibit

This consumerization of corporate IT seems likely to raise tensions: while many employees gain access through password-protected company Web sites and applications, 50 percent of IT departments restrict usage in some fashion, since the devices increase security risks and often do not mesh with the corporate IT architecture. However, 88 percent of employees believe the restrictions will ease, and most prefer a single device that integrates work and personal uses.

About the author(s)

Lisa Ellis is a principal in McKinsey’s Stamford office, where Jeffrey Saret is a consultant; Peter Weed is an associate principal in the Boston office.

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