Consumerisation of IT to personify technology’s new friendly avatar
The enterprise view of customer experience has taken a new turn with consumerisation of IT lead by the mobile explosion. It’s time to watch the macro revolution as it sets out to blur the roles between an employee and consumer, driving new trends including BYOD.
The mobile device has truly emerged as the ultimate bridge between technology and the consumer, in the bargain enveloping enterprises as well in the consumerisation storm. Let me explain why.
A quick look at the years gone by will show you that we, as an industry, measured technology by its ability to save money. But today, its role is that of an enabler to get you closer to customers by finding engaging ways to make them more loyal to your business or service.
The big question on every consumer’s mind therefore is this:
Can’t we have a user enriched experience seamlessly across work and daily life?
The answer, thanks to consumerisation is: Yes, you can.
So what’s driving this change? An interesting report I came across from the Booz & Company says that in the course of the next 10 years will give rise to a new Generation C that will connect, communicate and change. Calling them ‘digital natives’, the report says that their entry into the workforce will transform the world as we know it through ICT technologies that they will use and will drive massive changes in the way people socialise, work and live.
Of particular interest are two trends that the report highlights – Social Virtualisation and the creation of resident consumers.
“As 24/7 connectivity, social networking, and an attitude of personal freedom further permeate the walls of the corporation, at the same time, the trend towards the consumerisation of corporate IT will continue with more than half of the CIOs interviewed saying that in the next three to five years, most employees will bring their personal computers to work, expecting always-on communication and collaboration,” notes Ramez Shehadi, the Booz & Company partner leading the firm’s Middle East Information Technology practice.
Enterprise Applications join the consumerisation bandwagon
It’s a trend that here to stay in my opinion and a quick chat with the World Wide Application Transformation Lead of HP Software Paul Evans confirms so. Having rolled out a massive Application Transformation initiative to integrate core enterprise applications and mobile applications development, HP Software’s Evans says that technology today in every form is meant for the masses.
“We can’t turn back the clock. More than 60% of the world’s population has access to technology, so user experience is becoming critical and we expect applications to increasingly become more intuitive, easy and valuable to organisations in reaching out to customers,” he tells me.
It also means that we’re heading into a generation where individuals are now beginning to interact with the entire ecosystem, which implies that even for traditional enterprise focused organisations like HP Software, delivering user-friendly applications are the way forward.
Evans agrees saying that the driving principle is simple – if an organisation delivers services to customers through applications they enjoy using, they come back for more. Organisations therefore need to design, build and manage applications that drive interaction between people and enterprises to deliver an improved user experience.
Driving new mobile management styles like BYOD
It certainly seems to be moving in that direction with the mobile universe now at the heart of consumersation and CIOs and business leaders can expect to see the introduction of new mobile management styles including concepts like BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) , much sooner than later.
In fact, Gartner goes a step ahead to say that we can expect at least four new styles to emerge and CIOs need to gear up to embrace a range of more-flexible approaches to their mobile strategy. The analyst expects that BYOD will be the principle by and large that organisations must be prepared to adopt. At the same time, global businesses should be prepared to support at least three smartphone platforms by 2012.
“The landscape of devices and user needs is changing,”says Carolina Milanesi, Research VP at Gartner in her report and adds, “CIOs are facing mass-mobility, and it is expected to grow rapidly.”
Here are some more numbers to chew on for those who want more: Gartner predicts sales of smartphones to end users will rise to 645 million in 2012 and expects that more of these devices will find their way into enterprises as employees entering the organisation will expect to be allowed to use them.
Consumerisation, app stores and mobile ecosystems are causing a proliferation of new applications and services in the enterprise. Employees increasingly seek to take full advantage of better browsers and innovative applications from app stores. Gartner estimates that 31 billion apps will be downloaded in 2012.
Prepare for change
Quite expectedly, this spread of mobile devices and applications will lead to significant changes in the society, especially in the business community. Driving employees to behave more like consumers, we can expect more demands for wider choices of devices and innovative applications that will narrow the distinctions between a person’s role as an employee and as a consumer.
Whatever the case may be, it’s time to understand the trend and make plans to manage the change it brings and this year’s GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK 2012, with a focused session on Embracing the power of Consumerisation of IT will look at and debate on the future of some of the most disruptive technologies to hit the IT landscape. The best way to prepare and respond to one of the biggest shake-ups of the IT industry is to understand its implications and plan to leverage the benefits it brings.
New mobile management styles on the way:
Control-oriented: The primary consideration is to guarantee quality of service, security, support and cost. All aspects of the device and its applications are controlled and supported by corporate IT.
Choice-oriented: The primary goal is user satisfaction, but it cannot imply excessive risk, so the business won’t abandon all management responsibility, but will exert lightweight control over devices and the service portfolio.
Innovation-oriented: The goal is to empower users who want substantial autonomy and are often in roles over which IT has little or no control. The IT organization won’t abandon responsibility for critical issues such as data privacy and corporate risk; however, the controls will likely be more policy-oriented than technology-oriented.
Hands-off: This regime is not about avoiding responsibility, but finding approaches that mean it’s not necessary to take responsibility. It includes concepts such as employee-owned devices and BYO IT. Any controls that are necessary will be applied in the cloud, in applications or by policies.
Source: Gartner Research