Workers have better technology at home than in office

5 May 2011

The consumerisation of IT is shaping the CIO agenda in more ways than management realise and often workers today have better computers and connectivity at home than in the office, the head of ICT at Telefonica O2 Ireland Nicola Mortimer told it@cork today.

Outlining the key prevailing trends affecting operators like O2, Mortimer said trust is a key factor, the green agenda matters and social networking has revolutionised the dynamic in how workers view the workplace and technology.

“The key needs for business are reducing costs, growing revenue, increasing productivity and getting more for less. Attracting and retaining customers and employees is interlinked with the key needs for businesses.”

The consumerisation of IT is being driven by these interlinked consumer and business needs.

“Flexible working, the ability to work freely in any place at any time, in the office or on the road, allows you to live and lead a healthier and happier workstyle.

“Consumerisation is the buzzword that has appeared and we’re finding workers are using their personal tools in the work environment and in many cases consumers have better tools at home than at work.”

She said companies typically buy computer technology with a typical life time of four years in mind. “That won’t be sustainable when you consider most consumers change their phones every year.

“Half the people we’ve surveyed think their technology at home is better than in the workplace.”

Blurring the lines

Mortimer said there is a blurring of the work life and social life occurring. “The average BlackBerry user works 15 hours more per week than the non-BlackBerry user.

“Irish people, on average, have the fourth-highest propensity to buy online but unfortunately they are buying from US and European firms, not Irish firms because Irish firms aren’t set up for e-commerce.”

Mortimer said that with 5m phone accounts in Ireland, operators like O2 are challenged to create new business. The company recently entered into a network-sharing deal with Eircom and so far 20,000 consumers have signed up for O2 Money cards.

New opportunities being explored are O2 Apps Team, O2 Media and the company has signed a partnership with Microsoft to launch Office 365, which is currently in beta mode.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years