The consumerization of IT is about more than just a handful of users bringing their own devices into the office. That’s the big take away from the first morning here the CITE Conference in San Francisco. The real story is that movement may have started out with people taking their iPads to work and and checking Twitter throughout the workday, but it has become something much much greater.
At heart, this movement isn’t so much about devices, social networks, or cloud services – it’s about how these technologies have changed the relationship that people have with technology. Apple and other companies have made most people comfortable with technology and shown them an experience of solutions that just work.
As people become comfortable buying and managing their personal technologies with a newfound ease, they integrate them into their everyday lives more deeply than ever before. That builds more comfort, which drives even deeper adoption. This leads them to become their own personal IT staffer, an attitude that they then bring into the workplace.
The big difference between the average worker as self-appointed IT person and the actual IT staff is that this average worker has access to all manner of resources that IT simply can’t provide – apps to accomplish tasks faster than traditional business software, social media for solving problems, and devices that boot in a second and can work anywhere.
This new user as IT versus the IT staff is easily the biggest source of tension for CIOs and IT professionals in today’s workplace. And it’s one that isn’t going to be going away. IT needs to get on board with this shift and rewrite its own DNA. With consumer devices that come with their own Internet connection and ever-growing ecosystems of tools, users can simply ignore IT if they choose.
That’s the big message at the CITE Conference so far – this shift isn’t about any specific technology, it’s about how people and their relationship to all technology.