”Consumerization of IT”

I just read an interesting article by Nathan Clevenger on CIO.com on “How the iPad will change IT forever”.

The concept that the ”consumerization of IT” will drive the enterprises to change their role and attitude is far from new really. What is new is that it is exactly what is happening right now. Most organizations were taken a bit by surprise by the cheer force that drove the ”new” smart phones into the hands of all of us. Perhaps even more so by the drive to include iPads?

A completely different, but also interesting discussion, would be why the drive is so strong. For now let us just settle for that it is really happening at the moment and that we have to handle it in the best way we can.

I guess that you either have experience on your own, or have at least heard about the joys of owning a new toy settling into ”ok, so how do I actually use this?”. Normally I think most of us take some pride in being at the forefront, trying out new things and figuring out if and when and how to introduce something new and interesting to the organization. Not this time. Now we are facing security issues, questionable benefits et cetera – and the users are turning to the safe normal channels and are asking for answers. Naturally we try our best to muster up some help and support for the users. To manage the mobile devices and supply them with settings and recommendations for in-house distributed custom apps and so on – rather than just asking ”well show me your rationale for buying the thing in the first place”.

If we view the concept of consumerization in a more holistic light, we must apply the same user centric model in other areas as well. Extrapolate to the usual handling of computer platforms and it becomes more obvious what must be done and that what is happening today with mobile devices will extend to the desktops and every other aspect of the enterprise as well. It is a shift towards helping and supporting on the users demands and desires rather than those of the organization.

It is a shift in how we view, act and react; perhaps a bit in the same way as is expressed about software development in the Agile Manifesto. Even more interesting if you look at what Apple is doing with Lion and what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8.

IT must become more consumer friendly.

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