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The Consumerization Revolution: Redefining Business, Redefining IT

Somesh Singh
Vice President, Product Management & Engineering-NetIQ
Monday, December 9, 2013
Somesh Singh
Aquiet revolution is taking place in the world of business information technology. And like many revolutions through history, it began in the street, apparently spontaneously and was largely dismissed before it became too large to ignore.

The revolution is "consumerization" and it is turning business IT on its collective head, changing both the type of technology that is used for business computing, and the way in which users think about information. Moreover, it is redefining the role of the CIO and IT department in light of business requirements and how enterprise software is built.

Consumerization is simply the adoption of "consumer" technologies within business IT. Rather than IT departments run as command and control organizations that set policies and define strategy for company-issued devices and applications, users are increasingly bringing their own devices – smartphones, personal tablets and laptops – into the office to use for business. With them users are bringing web-based or cloud-based tools that are more easy to use than corporate alternatives.

It may seem like a small change, yet the ramifications are immense because they change everything we assume to be true about how technology enters the workplace, what happens to information processing and how users expect to interact and use business applications.

In developed countries with decades of entrenched IT organizations with robust policies and processes in place, the first signs of consumerization usually appear in the boardroom, and in pockets of new-hires. Senior executives and board members start the consumerization ball rolling with demand to use personal tablets to run business applications such as email or to access corporate file servers, which pushes CIOs to reassess their policies, procedures and technologies needed to make the transition.

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