The widespread use of consumer technologies in the enterprise, thanks in large part to the growing popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives, is having a sweeping impact on traditional ways of doing business and the results companies can achieve, according to a global survey of nearly 600 C-level executives and IT decision-makers in 19 countries conducted by Wakefield Research and sponsored by managed services provider Avanade.

More than six in 10 companies (61 percent) reported the majority of their employees now use personal computing devices in the workplace, and more than half (54 percent) reported the majority of their employees use smartphones for basic work tasks such as reading email, online documents and calendar invitations.

Tablets are also making an impact on workplace productivity, with one-third of respondents saying the majority of their employees use tablets for basic work tasks, and another third reported the majority of their employees are using tablets for advanced business purposes such as customer relationship management (CRM), project management, content creation and data analysis.

Businesses are also redesigning how work gets done by building entirely new business processes in an effort to accommodate emerging work trends including the use of mobile and consumer technologies, with 71 percent of companies surveyed changing at least one business process – including processes in IT management, sales and marketing, HR and customer services, to suit these trends.

Moreover, businesses that have enabled emerging mobile and consumer technologies and have established progressive policies and business processes to support them are seeing measurable impact and positive results on profitability, product development and employee satisfaction– 37 percent of these progressive companies are more likely to report improved employee satisfaction, the survey found.

Companies that have adopted emerging mobile and consumer technologies are 54 percent more likely to report increased profits than businesses not leveraging these technologies, policies and processes, and they are 73 percent more likely to report improved sales and new customer acquisition through the use of their collaboration tools than other companies.

“The nature of work and how business gets done is going through a transformation. Consumer technologies in the workplace are a significant catalyst for this transformation,” Avanade Global Service Lines executive vice president Mick Slattery said in a statement. “Executives are capitalizing on the opportunity these technologies offer by adjusting business processes and updating policies with measurable results in areas such as customer service, profitable growth, happier employees and bringing new products and services to market faster.”

However, the survey also indicated the disconnect between C-level executives and their IT staff could be the biggest factor limiting more widespread redesign of business processes enabled by mobile and consumer technologies, with security often a chief concern with new technology adoption. While IT decision makers are focused on minimizing potential risks (55 percent) with personal computing technologies at work, the C-suite’s primary concern is capitalizing on the potential benefits (56 percent) these employee-owned devices can bring to the enterprise.

“This disconnect is not uncommon – executives see opportunities with new technologies while IT seeks to protect the company’s assets,” Slattery added. “Our experience shows us that the type of transformation these technologies can deliver must start with a close partnership between business and IT leadership.”

Source: eWeek