CIOs must change their IT strategies to better manage an influx of 'fashionable' consumer led mobile based devices or face a backlash from Gen-Y employees and graduates, the CTO of VMware has warned.

Speaking at the vForum in Sydney, VMware chief technology officer, Steve Herrod, claimed IT departments had to face up to the fact that the consumerisation of IT was a real phenomenon.

"People really want to use the latest devices or what I see, more importantly, is new college grads coming into the workplace who are used to these new environments at college," he said. "They show up at work and actually prefer employers who recognise how the real world works."

Herrod said the desire for greater mobility in the workplace was a driving factor behind the consumerisation of IT, with iPads and similar devices creating a more mobile workforce.

"It's not only about that static device that sits in my office," he said. "It's about me working from home [with my] phone [and] my iPad and allowing me have the best possible user experience."

One of the issues that CIOs are facing, according to Herrod, is how to protect the security of documents in the mobile workforce.

"Given IT policy...[the attitude that] you should never have access to confidential documents when you're not within our actual LAN [has emerged]."

John Brand from Springboard Research shared his insights on a mobile workforce at the conference, and echoed Herrod's statements by saying that while many may see the iPad as just another device, its reach has extended into the enterprise level.

"We're seeing a lot of adoption of it at the enterprise level, absolutely," he said. "We've done a couple of CIO events recently with a couple of hundred CIOs and its pretty hard to find one without an iPad. They just love them."

Brand and Herrod's insights into the consumerisation of IT come as IDC research from earlier this year indicated CIOs are generally unhappy with `bring your own technology' schemes, with 73 per cent indicating they prefer to purchase their employee's IT equipment.

Another issue that Herrod discussed at vForum revolved around the often complex management of private and public resources in the cloud.

"We really see IT being put in competition with public cloud opportunities," he said. "So rather than fight it, we see the role of the CIO in the future is looking at public resources and private resources and its going to be their job to manage what goes where."

Herrod also said there is a pressure for CIOs to prepare applications for real-world use.

"The next big pressure is how we create the applications that you can have access to data...or generally just making business better," he said. "The key pressure for the CIO is how can I take my existing infrastructure and the existing apps but how do I prepare for the real world?"