Report: Consumerisation of IT divides opinions around IT in workplace

Report: Consumerisation of IT divides opinions around IT in workplace

CIOs need to engage HR and legal departments in forming IT policy

New research indicates consumer technology use is on the rise in the workplace despite a mismatch in expectations of rules around technology between staff and employees.

The IDC report, sponsored by Unisys, is based on the responses of 2820 people worldwide. Some 646 IT decision makers, 302 consumers and 60 business respondents from Australia took part in the survey.

The research found major differences between employee and employer expectations around how devices, including smartphones and netbooks, should be used at the office.

General manager of Unisys Asia-Pacific, Lee Ward, said the report indicates a risk to both the security and privacy of IT systems and staff information.

"The risk is that if organisations are not aware of how their IT infastructure is being used, they may not have adequate security measures - both technology and policies - in place, putting their corporate data and their employees' privacy at risk," Ward said.

A difference in expectations between employers and employees around what personal activites can take place during work hours was also present, with 63 per cent of employees believing they are permitted to attach personal devices to the network in comparison with 51 per cent of employers who say they can.

Other key findings:

  • 80 per cent of employees say they use VoIP compared with employers estimating 55 per cent use it.
  • 56 per cent of employees say they are permitted to store personal data on the network compared with 44 per cent of employers saying they can.
  • 40 per cent of employees say they are permitted to download non-work related video files but only 24 per cent say they can.
  • 42 per cent of employees say they can download non-work related audio files but only 25 per cent of employers say they can.
  • The report also found only 49 per cent of Australian organisations rate their infastructure security as being "very secure" compared to 73 per cent globally.

Ward said to resolve security issues, employers must have clearly defined security procedures coupled with an increase in staff education.

"To manage these risks employers need to make sure they have strong technical security protection at the most exposed and weakest layers in the environment - the endpoints and the network infastructure," Ward said.

He also indicated departments across an organisation need to work together to define IT policy.

"According to the survey, IT policy is typically set by the IT department, CIO or CEO; however, given the nature of the risk, HR and legal departments need to be involved too," Ward said.

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Tags consumerisation of ITsecurityprivacyCIO roleIT policy

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