You think you've "solved" consumerization? Awesome! Now can you please share your methods with us?

I'm an employee of TechTarget, and one of TechTarget's lines of business is a series of half-day seminars on various topics which we deliver around the world.

I'm an employee of TechTarget, and one of TechTarget's lines of business is a series of half-day seminars on various topics which we deliver around the world. I'm personally responsible for speaking at our desktop virtualization and modern end user computing seminars (along with Gabe Knuth and Shawn Bass) and our Consumerization of IT seminars (along with Jack Madden).

TechTarget has a delegate recruitment department which is basically a group of folks who sit in Boston and make thousands of phone calls to recruit IT Pros from end-user companies to attend our events. I had a call a few weeks ago with them to discuss our recruitment efforts for our consumerization events, and one of the comments the recruitments made was that "many people we call for the consumerization event say that consumerization isn't a problem for them or that they've already solved consumerization."

When I hear that, I am completely dumbfounded, as I've been spending a significant part of my career writing about and consulting on consumerization for the past five years, and I feel like I don't exactly know how to solve it yet. So I'm curious, for those who have "solved" consumerization, how did you do this? (I recognize that some people might just say they've solved it to get us to stop calling them, but since we've been doing several hundred seminars a year for thirteen years, we already know how to control for that.) But when it comes to consumerization, there is absolutely a large contingent of IT Pros who believe they have solved it. So if that's you, what exactly are you doing? How have you solved it?

I guess we should look at exactly what consumerization is. My personal definition goes something like this:

  1. Consumerization is the fact that in today's world, end users can basically do whatever they want, and
  2. Not only is IT powerless to stop them, but
  3. In most cases, IT doesn't even know it's going on.

I suspect that most of the people who have "solved" consumerization either (1) have a narrow definition of it that they've solved, while not considering the full picture, or (2) are ignorant to what's really going on in their organizations.

The reality is that consumerization is not a product or a trend, rather it's more like a pressure that affects all areas of the business. Properly dealing with consumerization means you have to understand and design proper networks, security, remote access, desktop, application, storage, collaboration mobile and cloud environments as well as understanding the business from the CIO, HR, and legal side of things. It's more that a product—it's a way of providing all IT services.

Maybe the people who have solved consumerization think they have just because they already have a BYO program or because they believe their corporate data solutions are secure and usable? I honestly don't know.

So I'm curious? What have you done to "solve" the consumerization of IT? Do you have any projects that you call "consumerization," or is it just something you think about for all projects nows? Did you make a concerted effort to move to cloud and mobile apps under the guise of consumerization, or is it more than that? Please share... what are you doing in your organization? And is it working?

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I certainly wouldn't claim to have "solved" consumerization, but we have incorporated consumerization into our end user computing strategies over the past two years and have enjoyed a good degree of success.  I think there are two common reactions to consumerization.  First, IT can entrench and double their efforts to secure the “old way” of doing things.  Second, IT can simply give up, and let the end users provide their own computing devices and public cloud services.  We took a third approach, which involves modern corporate owned end-user tech such as Windows tablets (not the Surface, but better ones from Levono and Samsung), paired with private cloud infrastructure services that users can self-service procure and customize.  We've also built and bought smartphone apps to solve for certain tactical use cases, using the smartphone as intentional companion to the Windows tablet.


I agree with your statement “It's more than a product—it's a way of providing all IT services.”  This is more a vision and strategy than simply a one-time consumerization project or series of efforts.  The reason I know it is working is because end users stop going rogue on IT when IT is meeting their needs.  By offering solutions that meet both the business needs and the consumerization appetite, we have a lot less FUIT going on.  Of course, reinventing end user computing IT is a herculean effort.  We are years away from being “solved” but we are well on our way.  


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The problem with consumerization is the generation gap that still exist.  You have one group of users that are still using Tivo and pay per view to access content and another group that gets their stuff from the cloud and knows how to do it with a mobile device.


When you deploy services that caters to the BYOD crowd, another group may will feel they're not being serviced while the BYOD group wants even more self service.


How do you provide BYOD solutions that caters to the self-service folks and the ones that need white glove service.


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BYOD - such a hot topic at the moment.


I work as the technical architect for a local government in the UK and we've got a serious solution working for over 900 staff.


MDM - we have Mobile Iron on site to manage Corporate and BYOD devices that are on a guest wifi connection when in the office. These devices NEVER hit the corporate network for security. Also we set PIN, encryption etc to secure the device.


MAM - we use Mobile Iron to deliver apps to devices and it's really great. We use Lync, Accellion and some in-house apps that appear as a featured app that the user can install. All great and easy for users to see.


MIM - one word - Accellion. We use the full mobile productivity suite (drop box like function, share point and file share access and mobile work spaces for users) and it's great. Currently the "secure" version is iOS only though. Also does full document editing too.


Took a lot of effort and time to do this but it's in and the users love it.


So I think I'm happy to say we have a good solution.


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