Analyst Gartner foresees a new kind of business environment where organisations are less able to control which electronic components their workforce employ in their day-to-day activities.
However, far from being a loss of power, the research firm anticipates agility benefits from this, along with the potential for the end to justify the means in some cases.
For example, the analyst suggests the idea of a social worker who decides not to operate based solely on the information available on the work database.
The individual instead puts his or her own electronic components to work - perhaps by checking a vulnerable child's social networking profile.
By spotting unusual behaviour, Gartner points out that the child could still be protected by the social worker without conventional processes being followed.
"The value rests in the outcomes," says group vice-president for executive programmes Mark McDonald.
"Addressing this reality will resolve one of IT's most persistent and pernicious issues - measuring the business impact of IT."
Mr McDonald heads Gartner's research into the CIO role and the business applications of electronic systems.