Tag Archives: IT departments

Is consumerisation a threat or an opportunity for IT departments?

By David Bicknell

I just came across a good read, a piece by Galen Gruman on Infoworld in the US, continuing the discussion over consumerisation of IT.

Under the headline, ‘Relax, IT: Endpoint diversity is nothing to fear’, Gruman points out that ‘old IT hands’ remember the days of widespread business computing – the early to mid-1990s – when every department had its own computers and software, each different than the rest.

“Then, ‘Best of breed and ‘departmental computing’ became dirty terms, and IT and business leaders went about transforming both their technologies and work processes into integrated, standardised, homogenised approaches. That helped businesses take advantage of the Internet and tap into what is now a global supply chain of goods, services, ideas – and customers. Ever since, IT has guarded against a return to that chaos of incompatibility and inconsistency.”

“People bought ‘best of breed’ tools that didn’t work well together. That was OK at first, before corporate networking, much less the Internet, took off, and sneakernet – sharing information via paper memos and in meeting presentations – was the communications channel for most. As soon as real networks and the Internet became common, it became painfully clear how siloed businesses were, how incompatible data and processes were, and how much labor was involved in making the work products and technologies compatible across the systems.”

So, it’s perhaps no wonder IT’s nervous of what consumerisation may bring/is already bringing.  Now, the Economist Intelligence Unit has played down the impact of consumerisation,  describing it as an opportunity, not a threat.

Gruman concludes his piece like this: “Consumerisation can be a catalyst for IT to get rid of the legacies that bedevil it, as well as the unnecessary silos that have grown over time. That should create space for the value-added aspects of consumerisation’s diversity of apps, OSes, and devices, and even reduce the effort spent on the endpoint and low-level activities.”

The issues will be discussed at a forthcoming Corporate IT Forum ‘summit’ which will balance real-world user experience with supplier expertise, and present case studies, master classes, Q&A sessions and technical surgeries. You can view the Agenda here

Corporate IT Forum site

Consumerisation shift creates change dilemma for IT departments

By David Bicknell

Looking ahead into 2012, one of the biggest instances of change will continue to be consumerisation. A recent survey from Accenture has summed up the trend towards employees using their own devices which IT departments can either embrace, or fight a rearguard action against. Perhaps there is the opportunity for IT to be the good guy – for once – and rebuild its relationship with its end user ‘customers’.

Whatever IT decides, consumerisation is here to stay. Accenture found that a large proportion of employees already make their own technology decisions, and a quarter bring their own devices or access their own applications from the Internet.

The move reinforces the problems that consumerisation is causing IT departments. Trends allied to consumerisation, including use of social media and the business’s desire to spin up a Cloud facility, say for a marketing campaign, are now turning the focus squarely on what IT does now and what it should do in the future.

So-called  “Bring your own device” (BYOD) programmes are already turning many business end users into accidental IT managers.

The Accenture survey of 4000 employees found that despite employers’ concerns around data security and IT protocol, one in four (23 percent) employees worldwide regularly use personal consumer devices and applications for work related activities. Employees claim that such technologies enhance innovation, productivity and job satisfaction, and more than a quarter (27 percent) said that they would be happy to pay for their own devices and applications to use at work.

Other key findings from the research include:
Rising Employee Technology Expectations
  • Over a quarter (27 percent) of employees routinely use non-corporate applications downloaded from the Web in the workplace as they search for applications tohelp them to work better
  • The first step toward IT consumerisation often involves accessing corporate email in non-corporate settings, largely as a result of increasing smartphone penetration, with 30 percent saying they routinely check email before they go to bed
  • Employees also revealed a desire to access Web-based corporate applications and databases, as 14 percent reported accessing corporate apps and databases from their consumer devices on a regular basis
Employees Solving Their Own Technology Challenges
  • There is an increasing trend for employee driven technological innovation, as 24 percent of employees admitted to coming up with their own consumer technology solution to help solve a business problem
Management is Struggling to Embrace Consumer Technology
  • The use of personal devices in the enterprise increases dramatically amongst IT executives (54 percent) and other management executives (49 percent) when compared to employee adoption rates
  • Management and IT executives know that using the latest technology is a big priority for their employees, with 88 percent of executives collectively saying that consumer technology used by their employees can improve job satisfaction

Corporate IT Forum Consumerisation Summit