July 6, 2011
I’ve been singing the praises of the consumerization of IT trend for a long time, mainly due to the likes of mobile device contenders including Apple, Google and HP. Now, an IDC report sponsored by CA Technologies is validating what I’ve been preaching for the last few months: Consumerization of IT is actually shaping the enterprise and creating opportunities. Here’s the quick rundown on IDC’s report …
IDC is calling consumerization of IT “the next wave in Enterprise IT.” The proliferation and adoption of public clouds, mobile devices and social media are forcing companies to change the way they work with employees and the way employees work with them. According to IDC, the phenomenon has reached a “tipping point” where it’s no longer about enterprise IT vs. consumer IT — it’s a whole world of “consumer-driven IT” that’s shaping the entire market as we know it.
IDC’s CA Technologies-sponsored study, “IT Consumers Transform the Enterprise: Are You Ready?” include numbers showing that companies using social networking have reported better customer satisfaction and loyalty, deeper geographical penetration and actual increased market share. IT departments utilizing public cloud technology have been able to trim down training costs for staff (or eliminate staff altogether) or have been able to mitigate traditional issues such as sudden spikes in traffic or data demands by offloading data center needs to public clouds. You can check out a quick overview of the stats here or the full white paper here.
The trick to adapting in this amorphous world of consumer devices? Embracing them and finding the fastest way to incorporate employee needs to facilitate corporate productivity. The challenge? The infrastructure, scale and security issues that can arise from this sudden adoption. And that’s where the channel can come in. Specifically, three key areas …
Mobile Adoption and Security: There are lots of companies offering mobile security solutions, so jump on board with a vendor that is. But don’t stop there — offer consultation, tutorials, best practices and more. Companies may be looking to adopt consumer mobile devices in the workplace but may not know where to start. Education is key.
Cloud Services: If you’re a managed service provider, start managing a cloud that has unique properties that integrate with employee mobile devices. Better yet, wrap custom services around consumer devices, and bundle it as a package deal. It could be something as simple as integrating hosted Exchange, or as complex as working with an ISV to provide custom software for cloud access and collaboration.
Integration Services: Is a customer’s data center ready to handle the onslaught of mobile devices or connections to the public cloud? Everything from wireless connectivity to network filters can be employed, ensuring that employees have the connectivity they want, with the security the corporation needs when accessing public clouds. This could be a purely hardware sell if needed, but it’ll likely bring along other opportunities with it. Data loss prevention and other filtering hardware and software is also a necessity, especially for companies working with public social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook.
Bottom line — and this is something we’ve seen even from ‘non-consumer’ mobile devices such as the Cisco Cius — any company looking to seriously adopt mobile technology is going to need something bit more complex than a forklift upgrade. There are plenty of complex challenges to ensure best practices are employed. There’s never been a better time to be a trusted adviser in bringing enterprises (and even SMBs) up to speed with the rest of the working (consumer-based) world.
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