The Consumerization of IT: Solution or Problem?


Today’s consumers have more information, more choice and more power than ever. There are thousands of applications and services available that can make their lives easier, and they can be accessed and acquired in a matter of seconds on mobile devices. This has led to the consumerization of IT in the workplace.

Your employees aren’t just downloading apps to their favorite devices to help them keep track of shopping lists, soccer practice, doctor’s appointments and other personal tasks outside of the office. The consumerization of IT means empowered employees are using their personal devices at work and provisioning their own IT solutions to help them do their jobs, from cloud storage to social media to videoconferencing.

On the surface, this may seem like a welcome change for a small organization with limited IT resources. It relieves you of the responsibility of researching and provisioning certain hardware, software and applications. Instead of waiting for a solution from management or IT, employees get what they need faster and cheaper, and they don’t require any training.

However, for every new technology or application introduced to your IT environment by someone in a non-IT role, a new set of potential problems is also introduced. Your new application may work great on your smartphone and tablet, but can it be seamlessly integrated with the existing IT infrastructure and workflow without disruption? How will security and regulatory compliance be maintained, especially if the new solution involves mobile or cloud services?

How will employee-provisioned technology be supported? Is the solution scalable? Are costs actually increasing because a similar or duplicate system is already in place? Can a variety of consumer-grade solutions that serve the same purpose be replaced by a single, enterprise-grade solution that reduces costs when implemented across the organization?

The consumerization of IT, driven in large part by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, isn’t just a trend that can be ignored or stopped. This is a permanent reality that needs to be controlled and managed. The consumerization of IT must be accompanied by policies, procedures and best practices that enable an organization to manage integration, control costs, ensure scalability, secure data, and efficiently manage the overall IT environment.

Developing and implementing such policies, procedures and best practices can be a daunting task for a resource-challenged organization., your outsourced IT department, can work with you to create a plan that enables you to take full advantage of mobility, the cloud and various applications and services. Let us help you provide the solutions your employees demand in a strategic way while avoiding the downsides of the consumerization of IT.