As Brand Loyalty Grows, IT Departments Struggle to FInd Balance

By Lauren Mineau

As loyalty to certain products and program grow, tech workplaces are working to strike a balance between what employees want and what they can provide.

Unified collaboration services provider NextPlane recently released a survey on the growing divide between IT teams and employees. The issue is that consumers, many of them also business professionals, are building loyalty to certain brands or products and are beginning to use them in the office without IT approval.

Of the 750 people surveyed, 53 percent of them said that they have pushed back on tech management when they try to require the use of certain technology. An example given in the survey is the organic growth of workplace communication program Slack. In many workplaces, employees took it upon themselves to use the program to communicate even if it wasn’t required or if other platforms like Skype or GChat were provided.

IT departments are now struggling to balance allowing employees the freedom to use technology they like but also maintaining control of security and confidential company information. For example, if Slack goes down and employees can’t communicate that way, IT departments are between a rock and a hard place. If management does not require the software, they can only help to an extent when it doesn’t work. Or, if a breach happens because an employee was transferring info through a thumb drive that contained a virus that they brought in from home, IT employees could have a major issue to remedy.

While there is no blanket approach to this issue, collaboration is key. Employees may organically find things that work for them, but they must keep security in mind. Striking a balance between required use and ability to find innovative programs will create a happy and productive balance for all.