How Consumers interact with technology and how that is impacting on business
Essentially a shift has occurred in how individuals learn about technology. Not so long ago the technology experience at work was more advanced than the technology experience at home, but with the rise in personal devices such as on-line gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets and social media applications the average consumer often feels restricted at work. This can lead to a loss in potential productivity but is more often meaning that employees are finding ways around their corporate IT to work and play in the ways they want to. Smart IT departments will nurture these new ways of communicating and interacting to drive increased productivity through more engaged employees, whilst managing the associated risks.
Consumerisation can manifest itself in many forms;
Bring Your Own Device – How physical technology impacts the workplace. This is commonly aimed at mobile devices such as Tablets and Smartphones but could also be a specific laptop or PC. BYOD is often the focal point of Consumerisation.
Cloud Computing – Where applications can be accessed from. Most companies have remote access solutions but these usually entail being connected from a specific device over a secure connection. This becomes much more difficult if the devices don’t belong to the Company. Applications need to able to be accessed from appropriate devices of the users choosing.
Mobile Application Deployment – How applications are being rewritten to be accessed from different mobile operating systems such as Apple iOS or Google’s Android. Business Applications used by mobile workers such as Microsoft CRM and salesforce.com have an App version developed by themselves or a 3rd party.
Unified Communications – How you communicate to, and together with your employees. Consumers are well versed in Instant Messaging, web-sharing, videoconferencing meaning that although this technology has been around for many years in the business sector the barriers to user adoption no longer exists.
Social Media – How companies interact with their customers through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Companies are using the ‘like’ feature of Facebook to get endorsements from consumers on the basis that recommendations from friends make you more likely to buy a particular product. Companies are also looking to harness the information on LinkedIn to find candidates and candidates can register an interest in companies.
There is no single technology solution to consumerisation, more, a suite of products which help employees become more productive whilst the company’s data remains secure.
SaintGroup provides the tools to address and embrace many aspects of Consumerisation; whether that is advice on the IT Policy or solutions that allow Consumers to bring their devices and ways of communicating from their personal lives into the business environment safely as well as providing utility based pricing on cloud solutions.