The adoption of personal media devices such as mobile phones, tablets and portable and home gaming consoles is changing the way we consume media and information.

Communication and collaboration channels are being reinvented, and the consumer technology world is, for the first time, driving innovation within the enterprise. Employees are no longer accepting the business provided mobile phone, laptop and workstation. They want to use their own devices, such as their iPhone or iPad, in the workplace. This consumer led adoption of technology, widely termed ‘consumerisation of IT’, into the workplace, is set to change the way that we work and I urge organisations to both be aware of the risks involved with employees using their own devices in the workplace as well as to take advantage of the opportunities these devices present.

The Economist recently stated in a report that, “People are demanding to use their own gadget in their jobs and trying to thwart them is futile.

Willem Eelman, CIO of Unilever says, “When young employees first come across business applications screens, they scream in horror.” In October, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple claimed that 92% of Fortune 500 companies were testing or deploying the iPad.

Tigerspike conducted research in October to test this view, focusing on personal media in UK enterprise. We found that 42% of the 120 organisations surveyed supported employee owned devices in the workplace. Also, 95% of the organisations surveyed viewed a mobilised workforce as beneficial or extremely beneficial for their 2012 plans.

Businesses are looking for return on investment through streamlined processes, quicker decision making, enhanced staff collaboration and cheaper deployment of services. We believe that personal media can deliver these.

For instance, always-on connectivity and touch screens greatly improve access and the user experience, increasing engagement, compliance and real-time productivity.

The GPS in mobile services provides an opportunity to localise content.

The mobile phone is no longer a device for on the move. The mobile phone is always with you. The convenience factor allows for real-time updates to sales orders, time sheets, expenses and a direct feedback device back to HQ.

Personal media devices can be used to support human capital management, from staff induction, staff directories, employee self-service tools, appraisals and training to satisfying the demand and expectations of knowledge hungry workers.

There are endless opportunities: document management tools, the management of board meetings, presentation and sales materials, collaborative working and editorial workflow. This is all possible within a secure environment using existing web security protocols.

Unlocking the power of personal media for Enterprise is something that every organisation should be considering. When you embark on developing your long term strategy always:

  • Identify your key business objectives
  • define your target market
  • identify what platform to start with
  • define your analytics requirements
  • test your concepts with your employees
  • set aside budget for updates and upgrades
  • plan your communications strategy to maximise awareness and engagement of the service, and
  • listen, review, rework and relaunch.

Tigerspike’s survey identified security and control as concerns, with 92% of the organisations surveyed identifying these two factors as the primary concerns around usage of devices in the workplace.

By ensuring you consider all of the above steps in relation to your business and through new technologies and applications, the perceived challenges around infrastructure support, privacy, security and connectivity can all be overcome.

The opportunities are endless for mobilising your organisation by optimising personal media devices in the workplace, achieving efficiencies and ROI for your efforts.

One final thought from Apple: “Most people think that great apps come from a process… they really come from the DNA of every person in a company.”

Alex Burke
BY Alex Burke ON 20 December 2011
Alex is managing director Asia Pacific of TigerSpike. Beginning his career in broadcast media, Alex has over 15 years of experience working in the media in Australia, Europe and South America on both the client and agency side of the business. Alex has worked with many blue-chip companies delivering services for broadcast TV, interactive TV, online, mobile and tablet devices. Managing-award winning teams for the past decade, Alex has built a reputation for driving technical excellence and innovation in the industry.