What are the IT and business impacts of the Smartphone and portable computing devices in the workplace?
How does the demand from workers to use their personal devices impact business management and IT?
Smart phones, tablets and other portable computing devices are
rapidly becoming increasingly powerful, sophisticated and popular. Many
knowledge workers want to use their personal devices for work. They
want the efficiency and familiarity of one device to manage both their
personal information and workplace data. This proliferation of portable
computing devices is having a variety of diverse impacts on IT, business
practices, consumer behavior and access to information.
There are benefits and challenges for both workers and IT to make
this new and unprecedented global and mobile portable computing model
work. This trend of knowledge workers wanting the flexibility and
freedom to have their own device will continue to grow. The challenges
for IT and business management are figuring out how to allow workers to
chose acceptable consumer devices while maintaining security, overall
performance and the user experience.
Worldwide mobile device sales to end users totalled 1.6 billion units
in 2010, a 31.8 % increase from 2009. Smartphone sales to end users
were up 72.1 % from 2009 and accounted for 19 % of total mobile
communications device sales in 2010 according to Gartner, Inc.
Gartner said it expects 70 million media tablets to be sold this
year and 108 million in 2012, compared with just 17.6 million units in
Sales and interest in tablets is impacting the market for
Consumer PCs. Gartner reports that PC Shipments in first quarter of 2011
experienced their first year-over-year decline in six quarters. "Weak
demand for consumer PCs was the biggest inhibitor of growth," said
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
"Low prices for consumer PCs, which had long stimulated growth,
no longer attracted buyers. Instead, consumers turned their attention to
media tablets and other consumer electronics. With the launch of the
iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an
alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs. We're
investigating whether this trend is likely to have a long-term effect on
the PC market."
In the expanding global and mobile marketplace knowledge workers
are no longer limited to the physical confines of an office or regular
business hours. The pace and timing of business has changed with the
expansion and adaptation of portable computing technology. People as
both workers and individuals want to instantly connect and collaborate.
They want to receive phone calls, emails, text messages and all of
their other work and personal communications through a single device of
their choosing anywhere and anytime.
The business issues and IT Challenges include:
- What are minimum security standards a company must require?
- Will all operating systems, platforms and applications be supported?
- Operational guidelines for integrating devices into IT infrastructure if they are used for both personal and business?
- What control a company is allowed over the workers personal data. What are acceptable and legal guidelines?
- Personal vs. business use of company supported devices. Who owns the data? Who pays for their purchase & usage?
- How can companies improve knowledge sharing and collaboration among employees?
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