Thanks to iPad, More Employees Bring their Own Devices to Work

According to the New York Times, a survey released by the Tech and I.T. market research firm Forrester Research notes that corporations are changing their long-standing policies, so that more employees now have a say in the type of technology they use in the work place.

Ted Schadler, an analyst with Forrester Research, “What broke the camel’s back was the iPad, because executives brought it into the company and said ‘Hey, you’ve got to support this.’ ”

This sea change in policy, termed the consumerization of of I.T. by some, has implications for the über-competitive electronics market. The I.T. departments of large corporations have traditionally been the stronghold of RIM., and its Blackberry.

According to Forrester’s survey: 48 percent of information workers buy the smartphone they want for the office whether their I.T. department supports it or not. Nearly half of those surveyed said that they paid for their work smartphone in full while 41 percent said their employer paid; 9 percent said both parties split the cost.

Although abandoning the one-size-fits-all approach to technology raises some concerns for corporations, particularly regarding security, it could turn out to be a cost-saving measure. Many iPad and iPhone toting employees may bypass the company’s I.T. department in favor of Apple’s tech support. As Barclay’s Capital Ben Reitzes notes, “You can basically outsource your I.T. department to Apple.”

The iPad is still a relatively new addition to the work place, and it may not be qualify for the same coverage as as a smartphone or laptop, at least not yet, but when given a choice, companies are realizing that workers want Apple.

Citrix Systems, a company that actually makes software which helps other company’s implement Bring Your Own Device Programs, found it saved around 20 percent on each laptop over three years. Citrix Program comprises around 1000 employees, 46 percent of which have bought Mac computers. “That was a little bit of a surprise,” notes Citrix’s chief information officer, Paul Martine,

When given a choice, employees are choosing Apple’s consumer-friendly approach. Even if it is difficult to quantify the exact number of the company’s devices that are entering the workplace, Apple’s overall growth (as compared to weak data in the PC market, RIM, and HP) support this idea. Reitzes adds, “What you’re seeing is that Apple’s approach is winning, and it is tough for the others to keep up,” Mr. Reitzes said.

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About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite