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Handhelds IT

What 'Consumerization of IT' Really Means For IT 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the proliferation-of-supportable-things dept.
snydeq writes "Nathan Clevenger examines the impact that the 'consumerization' of information technology will have on IT organizations, a trend fueled in large part by employee interest in the latest mobile devices, notably the iPhone and iPad. The growing practice of introducing new technologies into consumer markets before industrial markets stands to cause a sea change in the IT/user relationship, Clevenger writes, adding that this will likely involve 'painful changes in the status quo of corporate IT,' including the need to 'shed our arrogance' to give the underlying technology a chance to succeed. 'Although the debate around the impact of consumerization will no doubt continue for some time, the adoption of mobile technologies and enterprise applications is moving forward, whether or not IT departments are on board,' Clevenger writes, in large part because the trend provides companies with a strong opportunity to improve efficiency, productivity, and profit."
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What 'Consumerization of IT' Really Means For IT

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  • by boristdog (133725) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:18PM (#36966334)

    'Nuff Said.

    • In addition to the regs, I'm just curious as to how the consumer is going to run out and buy things with product names like "Clariion", "Catalyst 6509", "F5 big-ip", "vSphere", "Oracle RAC", "Xeon", and the like. Hell, you'd have a very rough time finding desktops/laptops with SAS drives, dedicated RAID cards, or anything near to using fiber. I also serio

      Sure, some things and components can be consumerized, but I'm just not seeing this 'consumerization of IT' being as all-pervasive as TFA implies that it i

      • heh - forget the "I also serio" part... stupid half-completed thoughts... :)

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        Sure, some things and components can be consumerized, but I'm just not seeing this 'consumerization of IT' being as all-pervasive as TFA implies that it is.

        I had one user tell me that we *have* to support AirPrint so users can print from their iPads. He said that as soon as we do that, IT will save a bundle since people will start abandoning desktops and laptops and move solely to the iPad since printing is the last thing keeping them on traditional computers.

        So I pulled out the last 10 purchase requisitions for computers and pointed out that all of them included dual monitors (even for laptops), and wondered why if people are so willing to work on a 10" iPad

        • by BoberFett (127537)

          Users like fads?

        • by KiloByte (825081)

          Those dual screens are stacked vertically, right? Since that's the only way to make modern monitors useful.

        • A user has asked for Airprint to be supported. a quick google search of "windows airprint", gives instructions how to do it. its an easy fix.

          However, you rather tell your users they should be using windows 7 instead.

          • by hawguy (1600213)

            A user has asked for Airprint to be supported. a quick google search of "windows airprint", gives instructions how to do it. its an easy fix.

            However, you rather tell your users they should be using windows 7 instead.

            No, you're reading too much into my post. I told him to come back to me when he has a corporate supported iPad (we do have some) since we don't allow personal devices on our internal network, and we'll help him make printing work. Unlike users, I have a regulatory mandate to protect our network from rogue devices.

            I certainly didn't recommend Win7 as a solution since 30% of the devices on our network run OSX (including the laptop on my desk).

            If the company is willing to relieve me of my responsibility to pr

        • In the enterprise, the tablet will replace the laptop once efficient docking, keyboard, mouse and multiple monitor support exist. High-end (as opposed to the current cadre of browser-based office apps) productivity software will also be paramount (esp., the bastion of finance, the spreadsheet).
          • by Compaqt (1758360)

            >In the enterprise, the tablet will replace the laptop once efficient docking, keyboard, mouse and multiple monitor support exist.

            I'm trying to figure out if this is a sarcastic jab at the current iPad trend.

            I.e., tablets will be good enough for business they have integrated keyboards, mice/trackballs, docking support, and monitor output: i.e., a laptop computer.

      • by zonky (1153039)
        because users will go out and buy services, not servers, which may or may not have robust technology behind them.
    • by vlm (69642)

      'Nuff Said.

      Not really. Its like saying OSHA makes it mandatory for all businesses to provide uniforms for personnel; after all clothing is a safety issue for virtually all non-desk jobs.

  • by Revotron (1115029) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:22PM (#36966368)
    Know how I know that? It's four pages long, yet doesn't say anything.

    "As perceptive CIOs seek to transform their rigid, legacy ridden infrastructures into agile, efficient, service-driven delivery mechanisms, they must adopt a pragmatic approach to managing the risks of consumer IT while embracing the benefits.

    I stopped reading right there.

    • by Xaedalus (1192463)

      Written by Upper Management, for Upper Management, who will then use their special Upper Management powers to make this the norm in their businesses, including probably yours.

      If I were you, I'd keep reading so that I'd make sure to stay one step ahead of my Upper Management, and keep my job.

    • Know how I know that? It's four pages long, yet doesn't say anything.

      "As perceptive CIOs seek to transform their rigid, legacy ridden infrastructures into agile, efficient, service-driven delivery mechanisms, they must adopt a pragmatic approach to managing the risks of consumer IT while embracing the benefits.

      I stopped reading right there.

      Upper management? Nope. Some lucky consultant got a high paying gig that probably only cost him a decent meal for a buddy.

    • by kiwimate (458274) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @09:02PM (#36967202) Journal

      Well, nice way to judge based on a Gartner quote. It's a shame you stopped reading right there - the very next paragraph shows why this is important.

      In 2005, the idea promoted by Gartner that consumerization would be the most important trend of the next decade might have been controversial. But traction from the iPhone, which went from 0 percent adoption to 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies between June 2008 and June 2010, undeniably demonstrates the powerful impact of this trend.

      Management and business leaders have their own technical language, funnily enough. Just as technologists have developed a specialized terminology to efficiently and unambiguously communicate their thoughts, other niches also have ways of saying things which might appear cumbersome or unwieldy (or downright impenetrable) to outsiders but which have a crisp meaning to the users.

      That paragraph has a fair few buzz words, admittedly, but it's pretty clear what it actually says. Innovation is happening at the consumer device level, and CIOs can look to that arena and figure out a strategy to get the best technology into their environment, or they can let their networks stagnate. Seriously, how hard is that to parse out?

      If you'd gone on further, you'd have seen a fantastic exceprt at the bottom of page two about an IT department for Hyatt Hotels taking the iPad and proving how it could really help the organization. And it's even relatively business buzz word free, for your convenience.

      Ironically, just a wee bit further on is this snippet:

      IT groups have to "shed our arrogance" to give the underlying technology a chance to succeed.

      Next time, get over yourself and read the damn article. You might learn something. Or, there again, with your attitude, you might not.

      • by suricatta (617778)
        I understand what you're saying, but I can relate to the parent's cynicism. I've been involved in many i-device rollouts to upper management at various companies.

        Most of the time it's pretty darn obvious that the upper managers just want the latest toys to show off to their upper manager friends so they can compare their iPenis sizes. Another reason is because CIOs don't like it when their kids have better technology then they do. So they tell IT to take this technology, implement it now and we can figure o
        • by kiwimate (458274)

          I can't disagree with you. In fact, the article even supports this by talking openly about the security issues.

          Believe me, I have clients who just don't understand why they can't go to dell.com and order a server and have us plug it into out network. I well remember many years ago when someone circumvented IT and specced out a server on IBM's web site and talked procurement into buying it. They saw big, honking fast, expensive, had to be amazing, right? Problem was the server they ordered was ideal for a sp

          • by Revotron (1115029)
            In my department, "let's play" happens at the System Engineer/Helpdesk level. A vast majority of our new tech/process implementations stemmed from wanting to solve existing administration and support problems... We get the brand new stuff, we configure it the way it should be, we make it interface with existing systems.

            I'm a firm believer that upper management should never make the fine-grained decisions (which hardware to buy, which software package to implement). Those decisions should only be made b
            • by BVis (267028)

              How can we enforce policies to keep business data under control and segmented from personal data?

              By saying "No", a lot of the time.

              Obligatory car-related analogy: "But waiting at the crosswalk for the light to change is boring, and it takes too long, I want to use this vaulting pole!" where waiting for the light to change is securing your communications, and the pole is your iGadget device.

              Management needs to be forced to understand that you can have neat gadgets/convenience, or you can have security. Not

              • This comes up every couple years when there's a new doo-hickey-thing-a-ma-bob released (now with Sprinkles!) and the users of the world clamor for it.

                When IT insists these devices be vetted for "security and compatibility" they're accused of "foot-dragging, turf-protection, and ivory-tower arrogance!" If they just allow people to use anything and there's a security breach IT is blamed for being "lax about security." The classic Kobayashi Maru "No-win scenario" for the IT admin.

                Your best hope is to state you

      • by Revotron (1115029)
        I imagine you're a very un-fun person to associate with at parties. Why? Because you have a personal vendetta to correct everybody who tells any sort of joke or exercises any brand of humor.

        It's the internet. Get off your high horse.
      • by arth1 (260657)

        In 2005, the idea promoted by Gartner that consumerization would be the most important trend of the next decade might have been controversial. But traction from the iPhone, which went from 0 percent adoption to 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies between June 2008 and June 2010, undeniably demonstrates the powerful impact of this trend.>/quote>
        Buying your CxOs and allowing other suits to use an iPhone to for phone calls and pictures of their children doesn't imply "adoption". It's a perk, not an adoption.

        Once you buy them for the janitors and sysadmins (but, I repeat myself), teach help desk how to support them, and redo your internal applications so they actually work with an iPhone, then you have adopted the iPhone.

    • by bobstreo (1320787)

      Know how I know that? It's four pages long, yet doesn't say anything.

      "As perceptive CIOs seek to transform their rigid, legacy ridden infrastructures into agile, efficient, service-driven delivery mechanisms, they must adopt a pragmatic approach to managing the risks of consumer IT while embracing the benefits.

      I stopped reading right there.

      Why did you quit reading? Did you get a Bingo?

  • "arrogance"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:25PM (#36966396)

    Clevenger writes, adding that this will likely involve 'painful changes in the status quo of corporate IT,' including the need to 'shed our arrogance' to give the underlying technology a chance to succeed.

    I don't think you understand what "underlying technology" means.

    This isn't about the wireless standards that the phones adhere too.
    Or any of the other REAL technologies.

    This is about security and accountability.
    Who is responsible for the data on your iPad when it is stolen?
    What is the process AFTER it is stolen?

    • by Moryath (553296)

      Watch all the companies run for the hills the first time Anonymous or Wikileaks gets a ton of data some fool stored on an insecure, wide-open "Cloud Service" like Dropbox...

  • MIDS are going to march into corporate I.T. like a storm. A huge sea change in the way we develop and deploy solutions is coming. We are seeing the beginning of the end of MS as the corporate go-to solution, at least their current offerings. Sure people will still use MS infrastructure crap for decades, but the desktop as we know it is going to die. Your computer is going to be a MID that docks when you get to your desk and then syncs to the cloud storage (intra/inter-net). When it docks up it will be much
    • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:36PM (#36966486)

      Your computer is going to be a MID that docks when you get to your desk and then syncs to the cloud storage (intra/inter-net). When it docks up it will be much like a traditional desktop you see now.

      Right. So you're going to take your corporate desktop home with you in your pocket, and when you accidentally leave it on a train...

      No corporation in their right mind wants people walking out the door with documents and software that they don't have to take out of the building with them.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        Right. So you're going to take your corporate desktop home with you in your pocket, and when you accidentally leave it on a train...

        If it's actually protected by a password, and the documents are encrypted, no problem.

        If not, it sounds like IT forgot to remind people of how to secure data, and instead were relying on people not copying things from their unsecured network.

        • If not, it sounds like IT forgot to remind people of how to secure data, and instead were relying on people not copying things from their unsecured network.

          Didn't you get the memo? IT is "legacy" now. It's all about empowering the end-users to develop their end-user creativity without the restrictions of the IT way.

          If keeping un-encrypted documents on an un-managed device without a password helps that end-user be more "productive" then who are YOU to say no?

          IT didn't forget to remind anyone. This is about t

          • by blair1q (305137)

            Yes, IT is holding back the end-users and their iPads.

            It's always the end-user's responsibility to safeguard data, whether it's on their iPhone or printed out in their briefcase.

            IT, by trying to be in control of everything, insists on disempowering users by refusing to allow them to use any such devices.

            It's false security. It costs more than the problem you're trying to prevent. Give the user an encrypted container and show them how to use it and tell them that's where all business data goes.

            Enterprise S

            • Yes, IT is holding back the end-users and their iPads.

              ... and ...

              It's always the end-user's responsibility to safeguard data, whether it's on their iPhone or printed out in their briefcase.

              No. There is a HUGE difference between physical documents and electronic files. The end-user cannot be relied upon to know how to make sure all the copies of a document are deleted from their toy-of-the-month. Nor can they be relied upon to perform the necessary actions even if they did know.

              IT, by trying to be in contro

            • by CycleMan (638982)
              It's fine to tell an individual, "Here are the keys to the car you just purchased. Here is how to lock it so others cannot steal it. Here is how to unlock it so that you can enter the vehicle and drive. You're on your own now." But when you give them the ability to lock and unlock other peoples' stuff (i.e. corporate intellectual property generated in a company of more than one person), there exists a responsibility to those other persons. Most organizations have found that, left to one's own devices,
        • by Culture20 (968837)

          If not, it sounds like IT forgot to remind people of how to secure data

          I remind them *how* all the time. That doesn't mean they understand me, or that if they do understand me, that they are willing to actually do it.

      • From TFA:

        According to Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad and CTO at electronics retailer Best Buy, the iPad is ... it. You can customize and order a pizza from Papa John's right from your iPhone. IT no longer has the unique set of knowledge about what is possible. The user now knows what they want, and they can and will demand it from IT."

        There is a HUGE difference between ordering a pizza and keeping confidential documents on your iPhone.

        The best part is that the Best Buy CTO cannot identify his ow

      • by NevarMore (248971)

        Right. So you're going to take your corporate desktop home with you in your pocket, and when you accidentally leave it on a train...

        No corporation in their right mind wants people walking out the door with documents and software that they don't have to take out of the building with them.

        Are they hiring? That would free up a good 15GB of code checkouts from my laptop and there'd be no chance of getting work done on the plane trip to the next on-site meeting.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      MIDS are going to march into corporate I.T. like a storm. A huge sea change in the way we develop and deploy solutions is coming. We are seeing the beginning of the end of MS as the corporate go-to solution, at least their current offerings. Sure people will still use MS infrastructure crap for decades, but the desktop as we know it is going to die. Your computer is going to be a MID that docks when you get to your desk and then syncs to the cloud storage (intra/inter-net). When it docks up it will be much like a traditional desktop you see now.

      I really don't understand the whole MIDS thing -- why would I want a device in my pocket powerful enough to run my financial forecasting spreadsheets and display them across 3 monitors? Seems much better to have a central repository for my data (i.e. my office network) and VPN in to access it remotely. Or at the very least, carrying a 32GB MicroSD card around with all of my data seems much more portable and easier than carrying some powerful MIDS. I can keep that MicroSD card in my phone so I can look at a

      • I don't understand this. Cant it do both? Can't it be both a cloud end point for some types of data and a data processor for others? Laptops suck. Plain and simple. They are 30 years of design kludge. I would rath focus on making useful tablets and software to bridge the gaps then continue to push the current desktop/laptop paradigm. I would rather we design tablets with great peripheral integration, and the ability to become desktop/laptop with accessories.
        • by 0123456 (636235)

          I don't understand this. Cant it do both? Can't it be both a cloud end point for some types of data and a data processor for others?

          Yes. And unicorns will fly out of its butt while doing so.

          I would rather we design tablets with great peripheral integration, and the ability to become desktop/laptop with accessories.

          But you just said that laptops suck. Now you're trying to build a kludgy pseudo-laptop out of a tablet with a ton of accessories, which will cost twice as much as a more capable laptop.

  • Most of our problems, such as the current debt debate over something that has happened many times before, is because some people, especially those that can't read or think they are gods. Things always change. The powerful aristocracy always falls. The proletariat always finds a way to gain additional power. Of course most of the proletariat don't read history, so are fooled by the naysayers that prognosticate the fall of civilization is the rich and powerful are in any way inconvinenced, so we get lame a
    • by jon3k (691256)
      Best post in this thread so far
    • The thing is when PCs entered the business world, we had the same articles about it meaning the death if IT and its control over how and where we use company data. The thing is, over time, IT became even more important as people started to rely on the data being stored on computing devices to a greater degree. We even had a bunch of laws passed which made companies responsible to control their data.
      Every decade or so, we have some new consumer computing device come along and people say, "We have to loosen
  • Consumer devices lack a lot of the safety features that are required in most corporate environments. For instance, the iDevices world make it difficult to make sure that the user locks their machines, and since they won't want to have to enter passwords/etc to get to their mail or important documents, it leaves the door wide open to anyone who swipes the device to retrieve the data. All because the user was too lazy to set a lock password.

    One of our employees rushed us to finish the configuration of a
    • by jon3k (691256)
      You really should take a look at the Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms. I recommend checking out Air-Watch and MobileIron specifically. You can, among other things, require devices to have passwords and meet complexity requirements. What we need to do is stop saying "we can't do it" and take a realistic look at how we can.
      • by Alyred (667815)
        Oh, not saying we can't. We're using the BlackBerry Enterprise stuff quite well, and are moving into the Apple and even Android areas.

        It just gets difficult when we have a user come up and state, "I just bought personal Device XYZ and want you to hook it up to your network." We haven't tested, don't know that particular OS's layout, etc.

        And some devices you just can't, for sake of policy reasons, etc. At least not yet. Lotus Domino is JUST NOW beginning to support full push to Android, and we're s
  • a while back I was working sales in a dev shop. My mantra was: our apps should be so easy to use that your mom should be able to use them. Not you, not me, not your GF... your mom. And I'm not talking about that ubercool geeky mom, I'm talking about the one who gets lost because an icon moved 2 inches to the left...

    I regularly got shot down for dumbing things down too much... I still sure I was right, though.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:52PM (#36967126) Homepage

    who has accidentally occupied a desk at the offices of Infoworld for some time now. It all started 2 years ago when Nathan was formally accepted to 'synergy leverage monthly,' a publication of no real relevance to anyone but managers who have reached a point in management where they no longer speak in real sentences. That isnt to say the sentences are poorly structured or in an indeterminate language, its just to conclude rightly that these sentences are devoid of any logical meaning.

      Anyhow, Nathans expertise (synergistic strategization of pinged leverage potentials and service driven design paradigms in the web 2.0 echelon of modern business dynamics) while perfectly natural in the publication of SL monthly, serves poorly for infoworld. Infoworld staffers understand this, and try to cope with Nathan as best they can through the common medium of corporate lunch at the local diner or the occasional holiday party. Their hope is that at some point, SL monthly may realize, although highly unlikely, they are in fact missing a staff member during the morning hyper-power-concept core lunch strategy event and begin combing the halls before or after this tumultuous event for Nathan.

  • From my 1970's/1980's perspective, everything started at as consumer technology. The "P" in "PC" stands for "personal computer" -- the PC was IBM's entry into the market to compete against the home computers of the Atari 800, Apple ][, and Commodore 64. To this day, I have this stereotype stuck in my head, and when I think my hotel reservations, bank account info, brokerage account, etc. are probably being handled by Windows or Linux servers I can't help but think, "I can't believe they're storing all thi

  • In a dictatorial regime heretics are burned.

    In a company with a top down command structure those that violate policy without regard will be fired. That's not saying that new technology will be stifled, but to say that the policy will change to accommodate the new technology. The old gaurd will take up positions within the new regime as fast as you can sneeze. Already iphones and ipads in my organization are being hamstrung by old security wonks that were vocal against anything but blackberries. Now they pro

  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @09:38PM (#36967506)

    This puts IT departments into a difficult and often untenable position. On the one hand, their users are clamoring for the latest gadgets to be integrated into the company's business tech. On the other hand, new devices may represent major security holes, or best practices for their use and integration may not yet be established.

    If some new device results in a system crash or a security breach, it'll be the IT people whose jobs are on the line, not the user who insisted on using the new device.

  • I had a hard time finding work before this job that I have now. Companies still want and operate against technologies such as BEA TUXEDO(i had to look that up because I had never heard of it before), VBA Access / MS SQL 2008, MFC(MFC??? "Really?!", I said to myself. "Microsoft doesn't even support it anymore"). Other skills of epic proportions included excel, crystal reports, clearcase, fortran...yes ALL IN ONE job posting. I am telling you, there are jobs like this everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Sooner or later b
  • It is sort of like the mainframe to PC transition all over again.

    But in an odd twist, we're also coming full circle. Many of the apps that make the iPad and iPhone such compelling tools rely on massive server farms in remote data centers. "The Cloud" is in a sense the modern equivalent of the mainframe.

    • by biodata (1981610)
      Would mod up if could. The ipaderisation of corporate IT means moving all the real work back onto the servers, locking everything down, and limiting what users can do to web browsing. Delivering web pages that can do everything users need to is the thing. The ipad is great for web browsing I think, though I prefer a laptop so I can have a real word processor and spreadsheet to work when there is no internet connection.
  • Increasingly, IT has been moved from "enablers of capability" to "untrustworthy and ineffectual geeks in a closet". It's been going this way for years, and the trend is clear.

    This article just lays it out in a fairly unclear, rambling fashion. The concept held for IT is pretty clear, none the less.

    Who's to blame? Personally, I put it on IT and application consulting firms who back their pretty weasel words with... more weasel words. They promise the sky, and due to the timeframes involved and the complexity

    • by biodata (1981610)
      A 90% implementation of 80% of the problem sounds like a great success. Write me down 100% of the whole problem, never change your mind, never change the problem, and never change anything else, and you might be able to legitimately complain that you didn't get 100% of a solution. If you poorly define a problem which in itself changes during the execution, and you still expect 100% of a solution, then the problem lies in your expectations.
      • by biodata (1981610)
        Forgot to add.. your abundance of 'personality', along with drinking skills, should fit your for the senior manager role I think.
  • Consumer devices are fine. It's consumer-grade services that are the problem. If corporate users have devices that are slaves to a consumer-grade service like Apple's or Google's, they can be attacked or disabled through that service. Typically, there's no contractual recourse available.

    Microsoft is more careful about this. They offer corporate control over Windows Update. If your corporate apps stop working because Apple pushed an iPhone update, you have no recourse.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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