Consumerization of IT means that enterprises are seeing how their businesses are being affected by consumer devices and services, which normally include new devices like smartphones or tablets and services like cloud-based applications or social networks. Or as we can read in the Wikipedia “consumerization is a stable neologism that describes the trend for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business organizations, resulting in the convergence of the IT and consumer electronics industries, and a shift in IT innovation from large businesses to the home.”
Enterprises see how these new technologies are changing the way people communicate and work. Today nobody is surprised to see how employees have contact with customers or partners using consumer services like Messenger, Skype; social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn or even Facebook, or that employees share documents internally using consumer SaaS services like Skydrive or DropBox
Another perfect example are the smartphones, a device that was designed for the enterprise, but that is having now its apogee in the consumer space thanks in big part to the disruption that the iPhone created in the market. Any smartphone today allow us carrying the work home, this was the initial idea, but this has also the reverse consequences that means we can also take our personal life to the office.
Whether we like or not we have crossed the line that divides our personal and business life too many time ago, lot of times fostered by the companies themselves in an effort to involve more and more the employees into their work.
The problem is that CIOs and IT Professionals need to face this situation, which is growing very fast especially now that the Internet Generation has fully joined the job market, and will be multiplied by several orders of magnitude when the generation that born fully connected and holding a device in their hands hits the workforce. This tech-savvy generation is not demanding the change, instead it is brutally driving the change.
The main challenges CIOs and IT Pros will need to resolve to avoid frustrating and to fulfill the expectations of these new workers are among other things:
- how to certify soon new devices for their enterprises
- how to provide a common experience across disparate devices
- how to secure the communications
- how to protect personal information
- how to increase the capacity of their systems to support the new demand
The good news is that all these challenges don’t come alone, they come also with lot of opportunities, because the Consumerization of IT can boost productivity with new ways of communicate and being connected, we have seen also how the use of Social Networks for instance drives higher levels of NSAT among customers and increased loyalty. Embracing public cloud services can also help to improve cost and efficiency by reducing IT costs and provide better application performance…
The consumerization of IT needs to be addressed today, not tomorrow. Like it happens with the cloud movement resistance to the consumerization of IT is futile.
If you have two extra minutes you can check also this funny video.