The age of IT consumerization is upon us: More employees are toting their smartphones and tablet devices to work, connecting unsecured platforms to vital business services. It's exciting, but it's also enough to keep any CIO up at night.
The consumerization of information technology blends the personal and business use of these devices, allowing employees to work from anywhere around the clock. It sounds like a great arrangement for the business, but consumerization isn't just about bring your own device (BYOD) policies, third-party applications and social networks: It's also about the need to forge and foster new relationships between the IT team and other business units, employees and customers. It's crucial that CIOs lock in a solid, well-crafted BYOD policy and continue to monitor the flow of traffic and information traveling through the network.
IT consumerization and mobility management are complicated, but CIOs are finding positive results in both workforce efficiency and corporate culture. What's more, their technology-savvy workforces are thanking them for providing the ability to customize a work-life balance. By practicing the strategies in this guide, midmarket CIOs have no need to fear IT consumerization.
This guide to the consumerization of information technology is part of SearchCIO-Midmarket.com's Midmarket CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.
Table of contents:
Mobility management and the consumerization of IT
"We all remember the old days when IT organizations vehemently resisted other business units using their own IT tools to get the job done -- better known today as IT consumerization," writes contributor John Weathington. "I didn't agree with that resistance then, and I don't agree with it now. IT should partner with the business, not be an adversary.
"Over the last few years, however, there's been a sea change. With IT consumerization, there is a growing acceptance to adopt and adapt, based on what the business is bringing to IT. It's a good direction, but the best IT organizations can go a step further. Instead of simply accommodating the changes requested by the business, why not embrace them? The consumerization of IT should get you excited; this is the best stimulus for building and improving an awesome IT organization."
Read more from John Weathington about easing into BYOD policies in the workplace.
Walk and don't run head on into adopting a BYOD policy
New documented trends in mobile device use
CIOs can learn to cultivate innovation
Midmarket CIOs discuss the consumerization of information technology
Watch discussions with CIOs on the promise of BYOD in the midmarket landscape.
The consumerization of technology and BYOD
IT consumerization is old news. For years, workers have been clamoring to bring their own mobile devices to work and connect them to business services," writes technology expert Jonathan Hassell. "Unfortunately, many CIOs are still making big mistakes when initially setting up their bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. As more users bring their devices to work, these common consumerization mistakes take their toll on the midmarket organization."
The first mistake, Hassell says, is that CIOs adopt a BYOD model without a support plan in place. This is probably the biggest obstacle to overcome in implementing BYOD and IT consumerization policies, and it's the most important.
Read the full tip for more on consumerization mistakes and BYOD policies.
Take a look at these VDI solutions for a solid BYOD policy
Give the gift of mobile device management
Millennials seek a flexible mobile device policy
IT consumerization and BYOD strategies: A glossary guide
Familiarize yourself with emerging terms in the realm of BYOD and the consumerization of information technology.
Breaking down IT consumerization myths
"The IT consumerization revolution is upon us. It takes many forms, from users wanting to use their own laptops and tablet devices to employees getting tired of carrying two smartphones -- one for work and one for personal use," writes expert Scott Lowe. "Each smartphone has its loyal followers, and chances are your employees have already picked their favorites. But the promise of bring your own device is easier said than done."
Lowe is seeing a lot of CIOs struggle with their BYOD policies. Perhaps promises were made without CIOs fully understanding the repercussions of IT consumerization. Maybe employees' hopes are too high. These companies are victims of prevailing BYOD myths.
Check out Lowe's wisdom on overcoming IT consumerization myths.
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A primer: The consumerization of IT
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The consumerization of information technology: A quiz for CIOs
In world driven by innovation and gotta-have-it-now sentiments, consumers often get their hands on the newest technologies before they officially reach enterprise and midmarket IT environments. With employees bringing these smartphones and tablets into the office with the intention of connecting them to business services, CIOs must have an eye toward confronting and embracing this consumerization of technology via strong mobility management and support plans, as well as robust bring your own device (BYOD) policies.
What do you know about the consumerization of technology? Read some of our recent coverage and take this quiz to find out.