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Are CIOs Championing Consumer Tech?

Call it the great consumer embrace-or is it?

Nearly three out of four companies are adopting consumer tech, according to a report released today by Avanade, a business technology services firm. This notion flies in the face of message boards and reader comments from techies condemning the practice as folly.

"There's definitely some separation of beliefs between the leaders versus the rank and file," says Ryan McCune, senior director of innovation and incubation at Avanade.

Avanade surveyed more than 600 C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT decision makers late last year. The results, Avanade says, debunk myths about the consumerization of IT. Chief among the findings is that CIOs are not hesitant to embrace consumer tech.

Moreover, companies are dedicating IT resources to managing consumer gadgets in the workplace: 91 percent of C-level executives and 75 percent of IT decision makers report that their IT departments have the staff and resources to manage the use of consumer technologies, Avanade says.

Slideshow: 15 Ways iPad Goes to Work

Another myth is that the consumerization of IT is largely driven by Apple products, such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac. It's true that the trend came into vogue a few years ago with the emergence of the iPhone. Chief executives brought iPhones to work and demanded IT support them.

But Avanade's survey shows that no single Apple device is even leading the charge today. The top three employee-owned devices are Android, BlackBerry and then Apple. However, when aggregating the full portfolio of devices, Apple leads the pack, Avanade says.

Not all of the survey's findings are a boon for the consumerization of IT, especially those concerning security.

More than half of companies surveyed report experiencing a security breach as a result of consumer gadgets. Even worse, the majority of companies are not investing in training for IT staff or employees to manage the risks.

Tom Kaneshige covers Apple and Networking for CIO.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Tom at [email protected]

Read more about consumer it in CIO's Consumer IT Drilldown.

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