During the past two decades, the expansion of the information technology (IT) products and services generally moved in one direction – from the workplace to the consumer market. As consumers have grown increasingly comfortable with technology, more products are being rolled out to this market first. As consumers introduce their employers to the latest IT trends, marketers to expand their ad campaigns to include the enterprise market earlier in the product life cycle.

More employees are bringing personal IT devices into the office and are using their knowledge of IT services to boost their performance in the workplace. In 2012, information workers say the following devices will be critical for doing their job. (The numbers in parentheses show the figures from 2010):

  • Desktop PC 35% (51%)
  • Notebook PC/Laptop 49% (36%)
  • Smartphone 6%  (4%)
  • Tablet 9% (0%)

In a similar trend, social networks initially operated in the realm of the consumer market. But significant numbers of IT workers are now using social networks for enterprise needs. A survey carried out by International Data Corp. for Unisys recently found that IT workers are using social network in the office as follows:

  • Customer communication 45%
  • Employee communication 42%
  • Advertising 35%
  • Market research 25%
  • Employee recruitment 27%

To keep pace with changing technology, enterprises find they must support more outside devices, despite the concern about security threats. Enterprises are also modifying or rolling out customer-facing apps that operate on mobile devices. Some industries are making the shift faster than others. For example, about 10% of surveyed healthcare and education businesses say they’ve already done so. And about 10% of both telcom and financial services firms are expecting to do so in the next year.

Keeping pace with technology changes is beyond the capability of most enterprises. IT services firms have a great opportunity to market their expertise to businesses who seek to keep employees productive with the latest technology and who want to engage with consumers via the latest apps.

[Source: IDC Information Worker Survey. Unisys. May 2011. Web. 26 Jul. 2011]