Alfresco Global Survey Reveals Misconception of “Consumerization of IT”

London - 30 July 2012

Survey shows IT driving tablet adoption and the emergence of a three-screen reality

Alfresco, the cloud connected content platform, today announced the results of its 2012 Global Tablet in the Enterprise survey. According to the survey results, mobile and tablet adoption is being led by IT departments, which proves counterintuitive to the general perception of the "consumerization of IT" trend that resourceful and driven employees bring consumer technology into the workplace, sneaking under the radars of unwitting IT departments that are resistant to change.

“This is a unique time for the enterprise as two major technology trends – cloud computing and mobile tablets – are intersecting to create a significant opportunity for change in enterprise computing that is proving to be more complex than most organizations had anticipated,” said Chris Hazelton, Research Director, Mobile & Wireless at 451 Research. “We also see significant investment by IT in supporting consumer devices, which will pave the way for companies to build new lines of business on mobile tablets. These devices will reshape how and where employees work, while at the same time increasing their ability to collaborate with customers, colleagues and partners.”

Derived from Alfresco's extensive customer and prospect network from across the globe, the survey spans key industries such as enterprise IT, government, education, healthcare and finance. One such healthcare customer, PhenoPath Laboratories, a physician-owned pathology laboratory is experiencing the benefits of integrating the use of tablet devices within their extremely regulated enterprise environment.

As a result of going paperless and automating the process through Alfresco’s mobile document management solution, PhenoPath saw immediate improvements in the on-time annual review rate - jumping nearly 60% just weeks after implementation and increasing to 98% after six months. The example is further mimicked in the survey result findings, which show that while many organizations are still struggling with tactical concerns such as security and ROI, respondents appear to be thinking more strategically about the role of tablets in business productivity and how tablets impact the greater IT infrastructure.

Tablet in the Enterprise Key Takeaways:

IT departments are leading tablet adoption.

  • Roughly 56% of respondents were from IT with over 90% of respondents reported having used tablet devices and over 75% have used tablets for work purposes.
  • Contrary to conventional “consumerization of IT” thinking, IT is both aware and excited about tablets and is actively thinking about the best use cases inside their companies.

Tablets are still consumption and passive communication devices.

  • About 89% reported moderate to constant use for Web browsing and 82% reported moderate to constant use for email.
  • With over 60% reporting little to no use of VoIP, Skype, IM and other synchronous communications while 44% report little to no use for social networking, indicating that the tablet is more of a passive social device than an active one.

Tablets are making smartphones more mobile and laptops less mobile.

  • With 57% of respondents still use smartphones in casual mobile contexts, such as lunch meetings (only 34% for tablets) and 51% (over 43% for tablets) in coffee shops. However, tablets actually overtake PC usage at home (48% vs. 46%), pull ahead during business meetings (55% vs. 24%) and clearly dominate at conferences (59% vs. 13%).
  • The survey clearly shows a 3-screen reality is coming true. Tablets aren’t replacing either smartphones or laptops, but are instead creating a new space in-between. It’s pretty clear that laptops are increasingly tethered to the desk or cube, while tablets are the tool of choice on the go.

Small and medium businesses are leading the way, but large enterprises are not far behind.

  • About 75% of the respondents were from companies with fewer than 2000 employees and 62% from companies with fewer than 500 employees.
  • These numbers are interesting considering the fact that Alfresco's customer base is dominated by large enterprises with over 10,000 employees.

“We’ve seen two main points come out of our global tablet survey that are counterintuitive to today’s existing enterprise media hype culture - smaller organizations allow for greater widespread tablet experimentation; and IT departments are the real innovators responsible for enterprise tablet adoption,” said John Powell, CEO of Alfresco. “We are excited to be among the few leading this new wave of innovation in enterprise IT right now. New mobile devices, the cloud and open source offer invaluable opportunities for companies to lower costs, raise productivity and delight end-users.”

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