Office workers lack confidence in IT to deliver the latest technologies

New research has revealed the extent of the proliferation of personal devices in the workplace, with 67% of workers using at least one of their own devices for work purposes. The survey of 1,000 UK workers has also uncovered a lack of confidence in IT departments to deliver the latest technologies.

The findings highlight the challenge facing many IT managers as employees try to take greater control over technology in the workplace, and their ideas of technology ‘best practice’ diverge from those of the IT department.

However, it will be necessary for IT departments to take into account new end user demands to ensure IT and communications deliver maximum value to the business, in terms of overall business strategies, productivity and employee retention.

According to the study, almost a third of workers (32%) believe their personal devices are more advanced than those provided by their employer and one in ten believe they know more about the latest technology than their IT department.

The research also reveals a casual view of the IT department’s procedures, with only a third of workers agreeing that they know their organisation’s IT policy and adhere to it. The majority either weren’t aware whether their company had an IT policy or admitted that they didn’t follow the rules.

There were some stark differences between the IT expectations and demands of younger workers compared to older employees. As many as 39% aged 18 to 34 years believe the technologies and devices they use for personal use are more advanced than those available at their workplace, compared to 28% of those 35 or over.

In addition, when asked if they check with the IT department before bringing personal devices into the office, 20% of those aged 18 to 34 said they didn’t, compared to just 8% of those over 34.

Today’s younger workforce has grown up using the web and advanced personal computing devices, and it’s clear from our study that they expect the same array of communication tools and devices at work that they have at home.

As the younger, tech-savvy generation continues to enter the workplace, bringing an array of personal devices with them, the challenge for IT departments to maintain control whilst ensuring a flexible approach to accommodate future demands has never been greater.

IT managers should be looking to put in place an agile communications architecture that provides end users with the freedom to use the technologies and devices they want, wherever they are, whilst keeping the IT department in complete control.

Andy Elliot is International Markets Marketing Director responsible for Mitel’s marketing strategy and plan in EMEA, APAC, CALA and the Russia/CIS regions. Andy has over 18 years of UK and international marketing experience in the communications industry. Prior to joining Mitel, Andy studied for a BA degree in marketing at Strathclyde University Business School in Glasgow, Scotland. He started his career in product marketing at Philips Business Communications and was UK marketing director for TSc.