In the 1960's and 70's, if you were looking for innovation you looked at the government or public sector for the latest gadget or technical breakthrough. Then, in the 1980's and 90's you saw an explosion of private sector research and development by large multi-national companies driving innovation and ushering in the modern computer era. But now, there has been a huge shift.
At present, change and innovation is being driven by consumer-oriented businesses. Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter all started with offering services toward consumers and transformed into powerful business tools.
Apple released the iPhone and iPad into the consumer space and transformed the way enterprise mobile IT worked. Skype is another example of a product that has successfully expanded into the business sector.
Now, there are tremendous breakthroughs in technology impacting the way we do business all stemming from the consumer product market.
Consumerization describes the trend for more and more new technologies to emerge out of the consumer market. Consumers today expect everything at the click of a button. Traditional business applications are now borrowing from their consumer counterparts.
Consumer-based devices are now becoming the norm on corporate networks. This means that consumers are driving the market. Users are no longer locked in to their business IT devices and software. No longer do the corporate IT giants have control over how we do computing tomorrow.
Search services, mapping and the scores of social media platforms are all making huge waves into corporate IT even though they are all designed for consumers.
What does this mean for IT Departments?
Agility - you must change or risk being irrelevant. Consumer technologies are only going to increase on corporate networks. Users are going to demand choice. They will want to use a PC, MAC, tablet, or smartphone, and every other kind of operating system available to do their work.
IT departments must learn how to leverage these technologies and allow their users to leverage them in a secure fashion. Security, device management and IT policies are falling behind the curve.
The explosion of mobile devices and BYOD (bring your own device) means that IT is no longer in control of the hardware devices themselves or the software that runs on them.
Move to the Cloud
There is a wave of innovation coming through consumer-based software and hardware. This innovation is coming in the form of cloud-based solutions that offer the ease of use that people want.
Change your IT policies to allow your users to be flexible in their use of tools. Find ways to manage security across multiple platforms and ensure your company’s data is protected. Security must drive your cloud strategy.
Move away from the traditional server and PC technologies where the data is locked up in a closet at your corporate office. By virtualizing desktops and applications you can unleash your data to any device while still maintain control of it.
Your end users are only seeing a picture of the data and don’t have access to the actual file. This enables them to access data securely from almost any device without the risk of spreading your data around on mobile and consumer-based devices.
Application and desktop virtualization hold the key to keeping your data secure while still giving your users the devices they want.
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Bill McCharen, COO
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