The Consumerization of IT

Arguing with a fool proves there are two.

—Doris M. Smith1

Let me start this chapter with the following statement about the consumerization of IT that is so often repeated by my colleagues in the IT industry: “It's a challenge that adds risk and, in many cases, costs to an organization's IT governance and overall management of technology.”

Consumer Devices Permeate the Corporate World

Consumer devices are impacting IT departments and organizations today with a rapid pace of adoption. Not long ago, IT organizations and CIOs were able to stand their ground in not allowing personal devices on the trusted corporate network. Today the proposition has turned 180 degrees, in favor of the consumer and not IT and legal executives.

According to Forrester Research, consumerization is the dominant force in smartphone and mobile device selection today; it has a simple definition:

  • The device choice is made by the employee, not the organization or IT.
  • The confirmation that employees are willing to assume some of the burden, if not all of it, for costs and support of the devices they choose to use in their personal lives and now at work.2

Forrester reported in a recent survey of 1,751 U.S. workers that bring your own device (BYOD) is real, with large percentages of employees paying for both the device acquisition (48 percent) and service (40 percent) but only 14 percent sharing ongoing usage costs with their employers through a reimbursement or stipend model ...

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