Consumerization is the trend in which new information technology first makes waves in the consumer market, and its popularity then prompts businesses to adopt strategies to incorporate it into their processes. But the real questions are: how does it really affect your business, and what should you do about it?
"People say you have better technology at home than at work. That's true. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. info workers are solving customer and business problems using technology they master first at home, then bring to work."i
So says Vahé Torossian, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners (SMS&P) group at Microsoft. His comment illustrates the growing trend in IT referred to as consumerization, which is when new IT comes out first in the consumer market and is then adopted by business organizations.
With more and more organizations adopting this trend, many companies find it hard to catch up with everything else that comes with the package. For some, consumerization works fine and is beneficial, but there are also those whose operations become more open to risk because of it.
It's become quite clear that, at the very least, companies need to look at both the short and long term effects of consumerization on the way they do business. Studies should be completed on its effects, and policies need to be developed to properly address the trend. The benefits can be significant, but the risks – such as the increased vulnerability of your system due to decreased security when work is done outside the office – can pose a serious threat as well.
While the general consensus is that new trends mean better business, it's the way you handle the details that determines how they affect your organization and your productivity – which is why it's best to fully understand the trend and its impact on you. We encourage you to give us a call so we can sit down with you and discuss strategies and policies you can use to respond to consumerization based on your specific needs.