Consumerization is not to be understood as just the usage of digital devices at the workplace. It is really about developing a whole range of IT tools and apps that heighten consumer experience and enable shifts in a business or the value chain of a process. For instance, a radio, watch or calendar is no longer just a physical product. These physical products have now evolved to become software, which are connected. The basket of such apps that replicate consumer products is growing exponentially.
Elements like Cloud Computing, Mobility, and on-the-go bandwidth enabled by 4G and public wireless environment and more M2M interactions are powering the pace of consumerization.
This trend requires CIOs and IT leaders to adopt a new mindset. Traditionally, IT leaders only went with standard hardware, software and network connections. Consumerization has placed these very tools in the hands of employees and consumers, no matter where they are. Therefore, CIOs and IT leaders will need to adopt new IT frameworks and practices to be aligned with the new paradigm.
For the CIO, the challenge is in getting the best out of consumerization, cloud computing and mobility, all three of which go well together. Emerging trends suggest that commoditized business transactions and processes will progressively move into enterprise-grade consumer clouds that ensure performance and security. In view of these developments, tech vendors are being influenced to invest in taking innovative consumer technology advances from devices like Skype, Google, iPad, mobile apps and social media into enterprise products. Thus, the consumer market and demand are also driving enterprise technology advances and its deployment.
Read more about how the consumerization of technology will change the enterprise IT landscape in our Winsights article, 'Consumerization of IT – Reordering Global Business.'
Looking ahead, end users will clearly have more influence over enterprise IT direction in the future, but the organization must balance this with security, cost, business process requirements, delivery models and flexibility requirements. The organization must modernize its IT environment to secure critical data, handle the manifold increase in transaction load that these new interactive experiences will impose on the IT infrastructure, and attract and retain the new generation of workers entering the workforce.