The consumerization of IT

Matt Hamblen has an interesting story ("Moving Pictures: Mobile Video Shows Promise") exploring the delivery of video to mobile devices, just when the general press coincidentally had headlines about downloading TV episodes to cell phones. Matt's story concludes that mobile video can be used for niche applications in vertical industries like health care, but it's far from being a mainstream corporate application. Nevertheless, this bears watching. We used to dismiss "consumer technologies" as something that IT departments could ignore, but today it's obvious that they're sneaking their way into corporations, where IT departments will be expected to manage or exploit them.

Gartner Inc., calling this phenomenon "the consumerization of IT," predicts that in a few years corporate IT will be dealing with a lot of technologies that "have roots in consumer applications."

"Consumer IT will affect every enterprise" said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Attempts by enterprises to deny this are doomed to failure, just as previous attempts to deny Wi-Fi, 'smart' mobile phones, the Internet and even the PC itself failed." CIOs "must adopt a pragmatic approach to managing the risk of consumer IT while embracing the benefits," said Steve Prentice, vice president and research director at Gartner. "Otherwise, the CIOs risk being sidelined as the 'enemy' by their constituencies."

The key for IT shops is to carefully examine how and when these technologies will affect our businesses, without getting caught up in the hype.

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See also:
Managing 'Prosumers'

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