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How Enterprise Mobility Is Driving The Consumerization Of IT

Ben Obear
May 17, 2017

Consumerization of IT refers to the cycle of information technology that emerges in the consumer market and then it spreads to the businesses and finally to the government organizations.

Traditionally Information Technology (IT) adoption would start with the government and defense and then it would be followed by business enterprises. Technology would be sold in low volumes, but at high costs. Overtime costs would come down making it possible for individual consumers to adopt the technologies. But the recent trend shows that this has been reversed. This trend where the consumer adopts the technology then later the business enterprises and then the government is the one that is referred to as consumerization of IT.

Consumerization of IT is driven by different factors like:

  • Cloud technologies and applications that are cloud based
  • Social media, social communication platforms and networks that are consumer oriented

Consumerization refers to personal electronics and online services at work. Employees will do this without the knowledge of the organization or their approval. The use of unapproved technologies was the network security. Companies have realized that by embracing the consumerization of IT they will save money and improve employee productivity.

Consumerization of IT is an unstoppable process and because of this, the enterprises should look for ways that they can embrace it and enjoy all their benefits. Before the enterprise can make any move they must first understand how the workers are using the applications. By doing this they can go ahead and forge a policy to secure the use. In a certain survey, they found out that around 60% of companies are adapting their information technology infrastructure so that it can accommodate the devices owned by employees.

Because of this, they have come up with the initiative Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). This blending of personal and business technology has a huge impact on the companies IT department that traditionally had full control of the Information Technology employees used at work.

In adopting consumerization the first step is to create a culture that is welcoming to consumer technology. Part of this is getting rid of the mindset that only technology experts can make the technology choices. The main objective should be to equip the employees with the production tools they need.

The Company should then focus mainly on a policy based governance by coming up with policies that will govern how consumer technologies will be used in the office. Without a cohesive policy, anarchy can and will result. Deploying Information Technology asset management system so as to control the risk.

You must tap into the app ideas from the employees. New employees have a more capable set of productivity and other networking tools. Companies that are forward thinking will try as much as possible to embrace those in their organization. With a small team of employees, they can recreate some of the core applications to other consumer friendly technologies.

Come up with an enterprise app store that will apply to their employees. Most of the traditional enterprise applications were not optimized for the mobile devices. By creating an app store where the employees can request a download and access the different tools they have.

The IT department is left with a huge task of deciding how they can protect their networks and manage the technologies that they did not procure. There is a large shift in company philosophy from total control of their employees to allowing flexibility at work and employees getting to work on the devices of their choice.

Enterprise Mobility

It refers to the recent trend in the shift in work habits where more and more employees are working outside the office and making use of mobile devices and cloud services to perform business tasks.

Use of social media as a business application

It is difficult to underestimate the impact that social media has on the workplace and also on the society. There are millions of active social media users. Businesses and organizations cannot ignore these numbers. As social media grows, people and the society are also evolving. Social media and new mobile devices have become extensions of the personal relationships and it can be difficult to separate technology with personal networks. Because of these, the employees are going to work each day and they expect instant access to these applications that help them be more effective in their personal lives. Social networks have become ideal tools to build relationships and also conduct business. Companies are therefore integrating consumer devices and other social media networks with the enterprise applications.

Thin line between home and work

Companies are now coming up with arrangements that are flexible to the workers where they can work from the comfort of their home. Because of this flexibility, it might be difficult to control or monitor the employee technology usage. It, therefore, is hard to monitor the flow of co-operating information and the companies intellectual property. The Companies IT departments should come up with policies that will help them deliver secure sensitive data on the employee owned devices as well as their own devices.

Businesses are shifting their business models to those that require tech savvy employees

As the mobile devices and social media explode, technology is changing the relationships between employees and their employers. These trends are also changing the relationship between the business and their customers. With the explosion of mobile devices, e-commerce on the mobile is also expected to grow. With the proliferation of mobile devices and the operating systems of the mobile, businesses have a task to develop newer mobile applications and other internet services to aid in the interaction with the customers. Mobile commerce is an important trend in the business world but its impact cannot be compared to the impact of social media in the business. The influence is greatest when the consumer is buying a certain product for the first time or if the product is expensive. These are the factors that will force a person to do more research. As the economy shifts to personal recommendation, companies will have to need a new set of workforce skills in the market by

Because of the above trends consumerization of IT becomes an important business idea. Many companies are today driving for innovation in markets. The companies that can use the new technology to reshape how they work will enjoy great productivity.

The recommendations for consumerization and enterprise mobility

The company should strive to launch enterprise applications that will replicate the best aspect of consumer communication and the social media within the worker community. The end users want a lot more than just the liberation of the restrictions on technology. By having the ability to harness the innate ability of the web to crowd source ideas to sort information so they increase employee engagement and their productivity.

They have to consider having desktop virtualization and any other new technologies that will help reduce security and data loss risks as consumerization is growing.

The basis for setting up a consumerization strategy is to articulate the companies end user work place and technology philosophy. Technology philosophy is unique to the organization and its culture.

The organization should evolve their security policies so they can protect their data. They should know that having in place IT security and other policies on data protection that will restrict the use of the personal devices will actually increase the risks of security and data loss.

Consumerization is inevitable and it is wise to embrace it. By embracing it the workers get new levels of productivity and also flexibility. Consumerization should not be approached as a threat but as a different way of managing. By embracing the change companies can develop new strategies to help them deal with the increase in mobility of business. The new trends will improve the life at the workplace and employees have flexible patterns of working.

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Ben Obear
San Francisco