A recent survey by the Enterprise Device Alliance found that 66 percent of organizations allow some employees to bring their own devices, which IT supports at least to some degree. But while employee-owned devices are showing up at work, many IT organizations are under-investing in tools to manage and secure those devices. Just 16 percent of organizations reported using mobile device management tools -- a percentage that is expected to more than triple to 50 percent by the end of 2012.
There's a similar tug-of-war going on in the social media realm.
Sales and marketing teams want to engage customers through social networking sites, end users want to access personal accounts from the workplace, and HR wants to be able to recruit, hire and retain social media-savvy employees. But IT doesn't want to expose the company to unnecessary risk.
In a recent a Ponemon Institute survey, 63 percent of respondents said use of social media puts the organization at risk, and 52 percent said their organizations suffered increased virus and malware attacks as a result of employees' use of social media. Yet only 29 percent have security controls in place to mitigate or reduce the risk.
Looking ahead, industry watchers say organizations will adopt enterprise tools that bundle compliance, content management and analytics features so companies can stay on top of content created by employees and measure the effectiveness of their social media activities.
In the big picture, enterprises aren't waiting around for the economy to improve. IT executives are spending in new areas and dramatically rethinking how they acquire technology and deliver services to end users. After a period of unrelenting focus on cost-cutting, these course adjustments are a breath of fresh air.
Ann Bednarz covers IT careers, outsourcing and Internet culture for Network World. Follow Ann on Twitter at @annbednarz http://twitter.com/annbednarz and check out her blog, Occupational Hazards. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.