Tech Loyalty in the Workplace Threatens Productivity and IT Control

As consumers build loyalty toward specific technology brands, those preferences are bleeding into the workplace—leading them to introduce technology devices, software and other tools without IT’s approval, a new report shows. Nearly half of professionals (46 percent) said they or someone on their team have introduced new technology into their workplace.

As IT attempts to remain in control, workers are not standing down, and 53 percent said they or another team have pushed back on IT or management when they tried to dictate the technology they use. The report also shows that 73 percent of workers say they’ve been successful in implementing their choice of tech tools.

The result is growing tension between IT departments who want to remain in control of security and systems and employees who want the freedom to choose the technologies they use to do their jobs, and are willing to go around IT to do it.

A new report from NextPlane examines the extent of this growing rift and its impact on collaboration and productivity. The report—The Fight to Collaborate: A Growing Rift Between IT and Teams— is based on a survey of 750 business professionals in a range of positions and industries.

This growing tech loyalty is leading to business professionals seeking out new tools and technology to not just their own jobs better, but to help their teams collaborate more effectively. The majority of respondents (63 percent) expressed loyalty to the technology products they use for their job. And it doesn’t stop on an individual level—42 percent of teams have loyalty to technology products, leading to pushback or straying from policy if the IT-mandated tools don’t mesh with established workflows.

“IT and business professionals are struggling to find common ground when it comes to the technology used at work,” said Farzin Shahidi, CEO of NextPlane. “Legions of teams and workers are introducing their preferred tools, such as team collaboration tools like Slack and Workplace, despite corporate IT policy. This increasing lack of compliance threatens not only the productivity of employees that may be working across different platforms, but the control that IT requires to manage all of a company’s technology securely and efficiently.”

Additional findings in the report included:

● More than one-third (38 percent) of respondents said they would be resistant to IT or management dictating which software or tools they use to do their jobs. This reflects the notion that individuals and teams believe they know how to do their jobs best and should have a say in the tools they use to do their work.

● More often than not, teams prevail in pushing back on IT to allow their group to use technology of their choice, with 46 percent saying IT made an exception for their team.

● IT still holds a considerable amount of control, with teams complying with company mandates 42 percent of the time. Over 1 in 10 people still use the technology of their choice in defiance of IT.

● More than half (54 percent) said IT has the final say on all of the programs and technological devices used, and only 10 percent said they have full say in the technology they use.

This tug-of-war comes with mixed success for both sides, but the tension is showing no signs of stopping unless communication and collaboration strategies change to reflect the wants and needs of both IT and employees.

“While there are no one-size-fits-all options for all types of technology employees might bring into the workplace, federation is one possible solution that can allow companies to deploy a comprehensive and open collaboration strategy that allows multiple collaboration tools to be used within the same organization,” Shahidi concluded.

To view the complete report, visit nextplane.net.