In a survey of nearly 600 senior company executives and IT decision makers in 19 different countries, business MSP Avanade found that companies that allow their employees to bring mobile devices to work have better sales, more agility, increased profits and happier employees.
In fact, the more progressive companies decided to be with their mobile device policies, the better the companies performed. Seven out of 10 companies surveyed had changed at least one business process to accommodate for mobile devices. The companies considered most progressive, or about 20 percent, had changed at least four business operations for their mobile workforce.
According to Avanade, the most progressive companies were 73 percent more likely to report improved sales and customer acquisitions thanks to collaborative mobile technology. Fifty-four percent reported increased profits, while 58 percent reported an improved time-to-market for products and services.
Employees who used mobile devices in progressive companies were 37 percent more likely to report that they were satisfied. In particular, they noted that they had more creativity and greater freedom to solve problems on their own.
The study did note a dissonance between executive views on technology and IT department views. Executives tend to focus on capitalizing on the benefits of technology, while the IT department attends to minimizing potential risks for the company.
“This disconnect is not uncommon—executives see opportunities with new technologies while IT seeks to protect the company's assets,” noted Avanade Global Service Lines executive vice president Mike Slattery. “Our experience shows us that the type of transformation these technologies can deliver must start with a close partnership between business and IT leadership.”
Dr. Jim Anderson of Blue Elephant Consulting recommends three major steps for making IT departments more innovative. First, CIOs and other managers must make IT feel more entrepreneurial. Second, management needs to set up environments for collaboration between IT staff so that they can problem-solve and generate ideas together.
Finally, IT staff members need to be reminded that they aren’t on their own separate island. Managers can prevent this atmosphere by hiring people with diverse viewpoints and work styles or by exposing IT workers to different departments and even different occupations.
Edited by Brooke Neuman