The Consumerization of IT

ipad-254337_640The consumerization of IT is a new industry buzzword, but what exactly does it mean?

Wikipedia has an entry that starts with jargon, but it contains some great information, like:

“The primary impact of consumerization is that it is forcing businesses, especially large enterprises, to rethink the way they procure and manage IT equipment and services.”

We couldn’t agree more. Small businesses will often look to larger competitors to see what they should be doing, but sometimes it’s the other way around. The electronics that we carry around with us are cutting edge. Many of us replace our phones and buy new gadgets yearly. As a result, consumers are starting to drive business technologies. Cloud services made for consumers can address business needs like video-conferencing, digital imaging, business collaboration, sales force support, and systems backup.

The Right Way to Consumerize Your IT

For the last few years, big businesses with enterprise class networks have had a hard time maintaining security and compliance while keeping up with the latest trends in consumer technology. Many have reacted by locking personal devices out of the network until new policies, procedures and infrastructure can be developed. Meanwhile, their smaller competitors experienced a big jump in productivity. Without the heavy burden of an enterprise IT network, small businesses are busy working on any device, and they could be anywhere with an internet connection.

Consumerization enables alternative approaches to business efficiency, but concerns remain. According to the 2011 Trend Micro Consumerization Report:

“Security (64%) and data loss (59%) remain top concerns for most companies allowing employees to bring their personal devices in the workplace.”

Since then, the industry has been hard at work, developing ways to safely and securely sign-on to enterprise networks using any device with an internet connection. They need:

  • Secure, single sign-on
  • Remote access
  • Remote management
  • Endpoint security
  • Exchange and Office interoperability

Over 75% of companies surveyed in the United States allow individuals to use some of their personal devices for work. We are significantly ahead of the curve compared to other countries. With widespread adoption, best practices are clearly established. If you would like to safely transition into a consumerized network, we can help.