The “consumerization of IT” has already been around for a while and has been frequently discussed.
The discussions have mostly focused on the expectations employees have – based on the shift of IT innovation from businesses to the consumer space – with regards to the type of technology they have to use at work, and whether they can use their own personal technology (‘bring your own device’) or technologies they use in their personal life like social networks or offerings through public clouds as well as the blurring of private life and work life. Most IT departments seem to be on the conservative side when it comes to these kinds of requests.
A different approach however, is to look at the benefits companies can reap when actively embracing consumerization related technologies. In an IDC white paper sponsored by CA Technologies, (IT consumers transform the Enterprise: Are You Ready?) IDC interviewed more than 800 IT executives and more than 1,000 IT consumers some interesting results were revealed. While the majority of enterprises interviewed are still in the early stages or are just monitoring the market, a surprising 20% proactively adopt consumer driven technologies. Examples of using consumerization trends in those organizations are the inclusion of mobile platforms (endpoint diversity) in their communication to and with their customers and the usage of social networks to collect more information about their customer base.
It turns out that the companies with this kind of proactive adoption gain more business value through this approach: more of these companies claim to have achieved greater agility, higher customer satisfaction ratings and even increased revenue or market share – also in new geographies and/or customer segments.
However, supporting these technologies also brings some challenges to the enterprise. Looking once again at the ‘early adopters’ it looks like these companies in general have a higher focus on several management disciplines like application performance management to ensure a high quality customer experience, virtualization management and automated provisioning.
In conclusion taking a deeper look into consumerization related trends and developments rather than just disregarding them as a “fad” is worth doing. A general prerequisite certainly is to get your IT – and especially your IT management – ready for those technologies. There is usually current initiatives in most enterprises around virtualization and automation and, these certainly needs to be included in the consideration to become ready for the future.