At one time IT products were invented for business use first before being redeveloped for consumers. Now products are being designed for users first. One just has to look at the incredible growth of Apple to recognize this trend. Apple's market cap exceeds Microsoft's so it is easy to forget that they do not own a large share of the market relatively speaking. Just 7% of the PC market and 18% of the smartphone market according to industry analysts, however they are now one of the biggest software companies around.
The economics of IT are shifting with Gartner predicting that by 2012 20% of businesses will not own IT assets. In addition users are becoming increasingly demanding and oblivious to traditional IT problems like where data is stored or how it is secured. It is also Interesting that services like hotmail that have no SLAs, tend to provide better uptime than some internal IT shops because they are designed for demand from a vast number of users.
Personal computing has also arrived at work and is unlikely to be stopped. IT must now come to grips with how they integrate these new devices, how they deal with user applications and more importantly how do you impose some level of control?
There is evidence to support that these trends are not all bad for an organization. For example enabling Bring Your Own Computer programs lets businesses generally increase employee satisfaction while reducing support costs. Employees tend to be more productive as they have a single device with potentially more mobility leading to a better work life balance.
Why bother looking at consumerization and it's impact? A generation of employees are entering the work force that have grown up with consumerization and expect IT to work in a similar fashion. This will become an increasingly competitive factor as the economy heats up and companies work to attract and retain the best, brightest and most technically savvy employees.
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