Though the trend is nothing new, as employees have been bringing in and using consumer-based technology for years, companies continue to struggle with the challenges posed by IT consumerization.
The research firm's latest poll of 2,600 information workers and 550 IT administrators in nine countries found that employee-owned technology account for 40.7 percent of the devices in use at the average company. That includes PCs, smartphones and tablets that employees use to access corporate data and the company network.
"Enterprises think they are in control of these devices, but in fact they are in control of only a small part of their infrastructure, with a significant number of employees going off the grid in acquiring and using their own devices," IDC concluded.
Last year, just 30.7 percent of the devices in use at companies were purchased by employees. Perhaps tablets, which moved into the mainstream this year, are to blame, as 10 percent of respondents said they use a personally owned device at work in 2010.
To deal with the issue, IDC advised companies to begin work on supporting employees' devices. That way they won't be used without the knowledge of the IT department.
"If IT were at least supporting these devices, it would have a fighting chance at getting the security and management issues right." according to IDC.
Mobility is a major player in the consumerization trend. According to the report, 34 percent of IT managers polled said staff were using smartphones, while 69 percent of information workers said they accessed business apps through a device, whether personally or corporate owned.
This report was released not long after IDC published a whitepaper on IT consumerization. The trend, according to the report, must be managed properly because consumer-based technology can be both a gift of productivity and a curse of security vulnerability for companies.