Consumerisation - working smarter and more profitably through the new opportunities

Should we be scared of consumerisation, which is much more than simply the latest technology trend?

Should we be scared of consumerisation, which is much more than simply the latest technology trend?

 

Individuals are using the connected devices in their hands to make online decisions that have an immediate impact on your organisation, whether it is an employee engaging with colleagues about crucial business intelligence or a customer networking with a large circle of peers about your quality of service.

 

Consumerisation is, in short, happening now and the time for being hesitant has passed.

 

Smart CIOs, such as Aurora’s Peter Bovill, are already using consumerisation as a means to engage with individuals and are looking at innovative means to develop that conversation for the benefit of the business.

 

Such developments show that, while consumerisation seems like a considerable challenge to the authority of the CIO, the move towards social technology is a chance to change business processes for the better.

 

Consumerisation is about working smarter and more profitably through the new opportunities made possible by mobile technology. And it is, in simple terms, the latest evolution in the ongoing development of computing.

 

Like the cloud, consumerisation has evolved over a longer time frame than might immediately seem apparent. Analyst Gartner describes it as “a steadily growing macro trend within technology for over a decade”, which is epitomized by the iconic Apple iPhone. Who can say they haven’t seen one in their organisation? The consequence for CIOs is that modern organisations face an explosion of popular devices and applications, across the enterprises and at home. It is the CIO who must take the lead, creating the strategy to help departmental heads cope with alterations in working practice and customer behaviour.

 

Spurred on by media hype around social networking and on-demand computing, non-IT executives see an opportunity to simply flip a switch and change the way business operates. But nothing is that straightforward.  The new age of consumer-led IT is about ease-of-access and use, but someone also needs to make sure new technology works from a technological, cultural and policy perspective. It is the CIO who will have to carefully manage executive expectations, while addressing significant concerns about control, risk and security.

 

As a consequence, consumerisation must be viewed as simply another well thought-through stage of your ongoing journey towards smarter business IT. CIOs need to know the intended outcome, to plan the route and to make sure the right provisions – both in terms of internal and external resources – are at-hand to make the desired destination a reality.

 

So, do not get held up on the importance of consumerisation as a concept. Like the cloud, consumerisation is an uncomplicated tag for a complex range of technologies and processes. Concentrate, instead, on the underlying issue;

 

 Modern technology enables a new level of empowerment through technology

 

Such technology allows people to reach out and work in newer and faster ways, to work smarter and more productively. And that has been the jobof technology since early man.

 

So, to return again to my original question, we should not be scared of consumerisation. But we must be prepared for continual, computing-led change. As Marshall McLuhan suggested: “Every kid knows that within three years, everything will have changed – including himself and the goal.”

 

The best we can do is to try and stay a few steps ahead. And it is you, the CIO, who will ensure your business is leading the pack.

 

Every kid knows that within three years, everything will have changed – including himself and the goal.

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