The Consumerization of IT

The key premise of the ‘Consumerization of IT’ is that the use of technology has changed the expectations of IT, the CIO and Leadership. The rapid delivery of solutions across multiple platforms continues to grow the gap between ‘at home’ capability and ‘at work’ capability. The gap has grown so large, so quickly, that most of us are frustrated with IT, the CIO and leadership. Our expectation as consumers and workers has changed. Let’s break down the 3 areas of IT, CIO and Leadership to understand the change to expectations and the impacts we are noticing.

Changed expectations of IT

The IT consumer is most companies has grown accustomed to the traditional IT delivery models. The traditional IT models are often too long, not robust enough to meet expectations and in most cases, the subject of avoidance and work arounds. To the employee who needs to move quickly, obtain new capability and ultimately meet a business need,  IT must be able to rapidly innovate and constantly improve price and performance. If IT is not able to do this, then they should examine  how to change their relationship with the business. The expectation of IT should be shifted from’ build and deliver’ to ‘procure and deliver’ across multiple dimensions.

Changed expectations of the CIO

The CIO has a choice to make, either lead the charge or be run over as their customers seek what is quickly becoming ubiquitous IT solutions. The influence of the CIO is shrinking, why go to the CIO and hear all the reasons why you cannot get a solution, versus going online and finding  one that you can quickly acquire and more forward? The  office  experience  is most likely a downgrade of capability, which is often characterized by downtime and complex internal issues. The current expectation is that the CIO  represents a sea of constraints, limitations and endless rules. To change this expectation, the CIO should be stepping forward to identify the senseless rules and have them removed, removing IT barriers and leading the education of the organization to address what is possible. The expectation is that the CIO will be able to balance control and innovation, fostering a productive dialog and solutions that are comparable to the marketplace.

Changed expectations of Leadership

The expectations of leadership have changed , partially due to the acceleration and  availability of  IT capability and partially due to the frustration with internal IT organizations, IT Leadership and most likely the Operational leadership. The expectation is that leadership understands the need to accelerate delivery in both the traditional approaches and across multiple platforms. The additional expectation is that leadership knows to how to deliver results or will quickly acquire the capability. Most employee’s are far greater users and consumers of technology in the marketplace and are comfortable moving across multiple platforms, tools and mobile devices. Collaboration and global teaming is available at home, on the bus and in the park. The expectation is that leadership understands that the expectation has changed and see’s this as a requirement to remain competitive in today’s environment.