UK firms that passively embrace BYOD, mobile and social media risk falling behind

A new report from AIIM is warning IT managers and CIOs against complacency regarding new IT practices such as BYOD , the adoption of mobile IT and the social media phenomenon currently invading the workplace.

The report, entitled ‘The impact of consumerisation’, explores the disconnect between the fast, cool, bordering-on-free technology that is used at home, and the alleged slow, un-cool, overpriced technology used at work. It concludes that organisations taking a softly-softly, wait-and-see approach will miss out on the productivity, efficiency and cost-saving benefits on offer.

Andrew Graham, director of AIIM UK, believes that the consequences of UK organisations failing to actively develop and aggressively implement modern IT innovations such as BYOD could be significant and long-term. He said: “Many firms are either taking a wait-and-see approach to these technologies or are dismissing them entirely. The report suggests that such caution or ambivalence could set many organisations back in terms of competitiveness and, ultimately, have a knock-on effect on the UK economy.”

The report found that organisations were best positioned to capitalise on the impending disruption that these technologies bring if they did three things: acknowledge consumerisation of IT as more than a technology shift; listen to their employees; and re-think the historic role of IT. Developing a strategy that put the user experience first and allows users to take the initiative, rather than revolving around the device or organisation, were also key to the long-terms success and the inevitable ubiquitous adoption of consumer IT in the workplace.

The report concludes that the winners will be those who can capitalise on these strategies the quickest, and provides six salient tips for IT managers and CIOs.

1.Enterprise IT needs to change its mental mode – from one of ‘complete control’ to one of ‘leverage and enable’.

2.Understand evolving information users and usage – focus on how people get the work done, not just what devices they are using. Companies need to think hard about how to use technology to enable its organisation around work rather than organising work around technology.

3.Acknowledge information user needs – listen to your users; give them what they want. Typically they want better and faster access to the information that they need, in a way that is useful and in a format they are familiar with.

4.Anticipate future use and align with enterprise goals – technology is an enabler of business goals, although not a goal in itself. Identify your business goals and strategies and match the technology to achieve those goals. Best-in-class technology is great, Technology that fits your business goals is even better.

5.Shape the technology you use – work with your suppliers to ensure products meet your information user needs. Switch from a device to a consumer focus.

6.Expand CIO roles and thinking – CIOs need to shift their mindset from a focus primarily on ‘produce results’ and ‘administer systems’ to also include focusing on ‘integration’ and entrepreneur’.

Graham concluded: “According to Gartner, the consumerisation of IT will be the most significant trend affecting IT for the next 10 years. This means that break-through thinking, value-creating innovation and calculated risks have never been more important to achieving competitive differentiation than in today’s economy. With the consumerisation of IT and BYOD, the sea change in expectations being placed on IT staff is real and irreversible, and organisations across the UK must seize the opportunity as soon as they can.”

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