Survey: Feds Still Use Shadow I.T. to Do Their Jobs


Many federal employees turn to personal devices to boost their productivity, a recent survey found.

More than half of federal IT employees think implementing digital workspaces could increase their weekly productivity by four or more hours, a new survey shows.

The online survey, conducted by FedScoop and underwritten by VMware, found employees frequently use personal electronic devices like laptops and smartphones to access work information, but few managers support these devices. Almost three-quarters of respondents said they frequently use tablets for work, but only about one-third of managers support them.

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Using unsupported devices, often called shadow IT, can lead to user friction and potential security risks, but IT workers feel they have little choice but to do so. More than 80 percent reported their work-issued devices don’t support the applications they need to do their jobs and two-thirds experience network difficulties like slow speeds and unreliable Wi-Fi.

With about half of IT employees saying device issues hinder their productivity, many believe streamlining IT functions with a digital workspace could save hours of shifting between different systems and applications. Such platforms require a single sign-on and would standardize files, data and applications across all devices. Two-thirds of managers and users ranked digital workspaces as one of the top ways to increase worker productivity online.

However, less than 50 percent of respondents have access to such platforms in their organizations. Among the respondents without the platform, more than half said it would increase their productivity by four or more hours a week. That adds up to over 200 hours, or about five weeks, per year.

The survey polled FedScoop's readers in April and had 168 respondents.