Aug 15, 2010

The Consumerization of IT ??

In many ways, consumerization of IT is the process by which the IT industry is being transformed from its roots as a business tool into primarily a social medium. It's consequences are expected to grow sharply in the future

Symantec conducted a survey and found marked differences in the attitudes and behaviors of millennials compared with other workers towards using Web 2.0 applications and personal devices. Notably, a full 69 percent said that they would “use whatever application/device/technology they want, regardless of source or corporate IT policies.” That’s compared with only 31 percent of employees of other generations.

They were also much more frequent users of social networking and Web-based e-mail at work, and three times as many of the millennials reported that they had downloaded software at work for their personal use. They also regularly store their work data on their personal devices—whether PCs, USB drives, or smartphones.

In discussing the increasing consumerization of IT trend, Forrester likewise picks up on the strong influence of the millennials, but notes that they aren’t alone. They observe that Gen Xers are “asking their IT departments to deliver at work the same consumer applications that they enjoy at home.” But millennials are “even bolder” and “completely eschew conventional productivity tools like email in favor of text messaging and Web 2.0 tools.” Ultimately, Forrester believes that “individual people, not IT organizations, are fueling the next wave of IT adoption.”

So what does this mean for businesses? It means that the influence of consumer technologies on your organization and your workforce is largely unavoidable—and it has some real implications on a number of fronts, including security and employee satisfaction. Ultimately, as Gartner puts it, this will be “the single most influential trend affecting the technology sector in the coming decade, but the effects are more subtle and broad-reaching than most observers originally imagined, and we have reached a tipping point.”

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