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Consumerization of IT is Bigger Than Mobile

When I mention consumerization of IT, many people immediately think of mobile devices. Some might even think the conversation even goes towards desktop virtualization. Others might say it's both. They are all correct, but CoIT is more than just about mobile and devices and desktops. It's also about cloud and a new, agile, faster services delivery model. CoIT is also about Big Data Analytics.

CoIT represents a seismic shift in technology approach. It changes the way we do, well, everything! Many years ago, technology companies marketed their products and solutions to the enterprise customer first and foremost, and only some of these technologies made their way to the average consumer. This trend gave birth to our industry, where everything is enterprise-focused. In the not too distant past, this trend has shifted, it has changed drastically in the opposite direction. Technology companies now market directly to the consumer. In it, they have found a bigger market that adopts their technologies much more quickly and in smaller transactions that collectively represent massive income.

This shift is what is putting huge pressure on enterprise IT to cope, to adapt, to change its ways. I will not bore you with how CoIT is affecting the BYOD or desktop virtualization market, as you already know this. Instead, I want to focus on how CoIT is also putting pressure on the fast adoption of private cloud models inside organizations.

One of the challenges that IT faces today is the ability to control departments inside the organizations from going to Amazon-like providers, swiping their cards and getting instant access to a virtual machine that they can then use for whatever business initiative they have. When told not to do that, they ask for a similar service from IT, one that is as quick, effective and seamless, one which IT cannot deliver today. Such services still needs be requested, which is then channeled to the right person for approval and then takes anywhere from a day to a week to turn around. As far as the consumer is concerned, IT is slow, and they can see an alternative that gets the job done quicker and at an identified pay-per-use cost. They can easily make the case to business that they would have to pay a lot of money for IT to provision a server.

The private cloud's automation, orchestration, and self-service capabilities coupled with an identifiable, measurable showback or chargeback is the only way IT can modernize its processes and adapt to a market that is not going back to the old processes -- ever!

It does not end here. CoIT also is leading the big data analytics revolution, one that I think will change our world for the better. Because everything is consumer-centric and innovation is centered on consumer needs, we are seeing the rise of "sensors" embedded in all sorts of things, sensors that are capable of sending and receiving data. Imagine a sensor in your shipped package that informs you via e-mail or text message when it reached a port and when it will be picked up. Imagine a sensor in your luggage which can inform you if it is lost or on the wrong plane, or maybe even rerouted on the right plane and when it will arrive. How about a sensor in your body that maintains data about your health, average heart rate at different time of the day? Data that your doctor can either automatically check or can scan the sensor when you visit to get relevant information about your health.

Can you imagine all this data? It is estimated that in the next three years, more than four million big data analytics jobs will be created and only a third of these jobs will be filled. Looking for the next big thing? How about a career in big data analytics as a data scientist? Data engineer, maybe? Heck, make your own title because you are at the stage where you can. The need for skilled workers that understand data management and have a business-centric approach will sky rocket. That does not affect you? Think again.

I have been touting for a while now that converged infrastructures will slowly but surely become the norm. Imagine a world where you need to process in real time information that is coming at you from multiple different sources. This unstructured data is very different than the data warehousing structured data approach we are used to. Do you think these data scientists will have the time or patience for a "piece it together" IT approach? No. They will ask IT for hardware and if that hardware is not there fast, they will find alternatives. And what do you think that alternative will be? Assuming the data will be processed locally and the cloud will not be leveraged, that hardware will be converged for quick deployment and provisioning. Remember, it's all about business projects. These are no longer IT projects!

I am sharing this with you because I want to clear the air with all the confusion surrounding the consumerization of IT. I hope I made the case that it's more than just a significant shift in IT, that these are not isolated to the proliferation of devices or BYOD initiatives. CoIT is much bigger than that. We all should be aware of it and plan accordingly.

I am interested in your comments about how you are planning to deal with many of these issues in your organizations. Are you starting to see these trends? If so, how do you plan on transitioning or adopting technologies that allow IT to transform itself. IT will become even more relevant to the business, but IT roles will significantly change.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 02/04/2013 at 12:49 PM


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