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The Consumerization of IT

David DeCamillisBy David DeCamillis

The consumerization of IT is a fairly new industry buzzword, but what exactly does it mean?

Wikipedia has an entry that starts with jargon, but it contains some great information such as, “The primary impact of consumerization is that it is forcing businesses, especially large enterprises, to rethink the way they procure and manage IT equipment and services.”

We couldn’t agree more. Small businesses will often look to larger competitors to see what they should be doing, but sometimes it’s the other way around. The electronics that we carry around with us are cutting edge. Many of us replace our phones and buy new gadgets yearly. As a result, consumers are starting to drive business technologies. Cloud services made for consumers can address business needs like video conferencing, digital imaging, business collaboration, sales force support and systems backup.

The Right Way to Consumerize Your IT

For the last few years, big businesses with enterprise class networks have had a hard time maintaining security and compliance while keeping up with the latest trends in consumer technology. Many have reacted by locking personal devices out of the network until new policies, procedures and infrastructure can be developed. Meanwhile, their smaller competitors experienced a big jump in productivity. Without the heavy burden of an enterprise IT network, small businesses are busy working on any device, and they could be anywhere with an internet connection.

Consumerization enables alternative approaches to business efficiency, but concerns remain. Security, data loss and mobile device management are top concerns for companies today.

According to Gartner, “Bring your own device, or BYOD, is a disruptive phenomenon where employees bring non-company IT into the organization and demand to be connected to everything — without proper accountability or oversight.”

The industry has been hard at work, developing ways to safely and securely sign-on to enterprise networks using any device with an Internet connection. They need:

  • Secure, single sign-on
  • Remote access
  • Remote management
  • Endpoint security
  • Exchange and Office interoperability

Currently it is estimated that 75 percent of companies in the United States allow individuals to use some of their personal devices for work. We are significantly ahead of the curve compared to other countries. With widespread adoption, best practices can hopefully be clearly established.

David DeCamillis is the vice president of sales and marketing for Platte River Networks (PRN), a Denver-based firm that specializes in infrastructure management and cloud services. For 25 years, DeCamillis has worked in the financial, entertainment and, most recently, technology industries. He has been with PRN since 2008. DeCamillis is a member of the 2014-2015 Channel Partners Advisory Board.


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