The Consumerization of IT Helps Level the SMB Playing Field Across the World, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., January 25, 2012 – Increased adoption and personal use of advanced technology is paying dividends for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the world as the consumerization of IT continues to expand, especially in developing countries. Survey research from International Data Corporation (IDC) found that SMBs in developing countries are much more likely to encourage the use of worker-owned technology, allowing employee smartphones, netbooks, and media tablets to be connected to company networks to run a host of different business applications.

"To remain competitive and increase efficiency, SMBs in developing countries are leveraging workers' own technologies," said Ray Boggs, vice president, Small and Medium Business Markets at IDC. "Despite the potential security risks, these SMBs continue to allow employees to gain access to the company network and related resources through their own devices." This consumerization of IT has important implications for technology providers as well as for firms competing against SMBs that are taking advantage of every productivity tool they can.

Additionally, SMBs in developed countries (e.g., the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan) typically indicate higher levels of advanced technology use, from notebook PC to wireless networks, than do similarly sized firms in developing countries (e.g., China, Brazil). However, the gap closes quickly when portable computing/communications products are added to the mix. SMBs in developing countries are keeping pace with their more developed counterparts when it comes to providing employees with smartphones, netbooks/mini notebooks, and media tablets. In some cases, they are actually more likely to provide these products to their staff.

Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:

Independent of region, medium-sized firms are more likely to provide employees with advanced mobile devices than are small businesses (SBs).

China SMBs are providing company-owned smartphones to employees most often.

In developed countries, 33.7% of SBs and 46.7% of MBs indicated they provide access to the business network for employee-owned smartphones.

This study, Consumerization of IT in SMBs Worldwide: Developing Countries Outpacing Developed Ones in Leveraging Employee-Owned Technology (IDC #229818), examines the ways in which SMBs in developed and developing countries are supporting the use of advanced technology by their workers. The extent to which smartphones, netbooks, and media tablets are provided to workers is described along with the access to corporate resources available to employees using their own portable computing and communications products. SMBs from six countries are examined: the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China, and Brazil.

To purchase this study, please contact IDC Sales at 508-988-7988 or

An on-demand replay of IDC's recent SMB Predictions 2012 Web Conference is available at

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting