2017 Trends and Predictions Continued: The Consumerization of IT

Mobile device apps have spoiled us. They are simple, often single-purpose, and intuitive to use. There’s no need for documentation or training. Just download, open, and start performing the task that the app supports.

We’re spoiled because now we expect all software and devices to be just as easy, even at work. This is especially true of millennials who grew up with mobile devices. If the devices you sell or the solutions you implement are too complicated to use, you risk losing customers to competitors who can provide a more user-friendly option.

Hiro Imamura, Canon

“We anticipate that technology consumerization, driven in large part by the influx of millennial worker expectations, will continue to transform the workplace and require businesses to stay ahead of these ever-changing preferences,” said Hiro Imamura, senior vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group at Canon U.S.A.. “In the past, productivity often required the user to adapt to technology, but the roles have now reversed, with technology now expected to acclimate to the individual’s needs.”

“As technology consumers, workers have come to expect shared office technology to offer an experience with comparable flexibility, customization, and convenience as that provided by their mobile devices,” said Imamura. He advises dealers to prepare for this growing expectation by offering productivity-enhancing technology with advanced personalization features – for example, multifunction systems that provide unified firmware platform updates and allow users to personalize their experience at the device, and have those customized settings follow them to other networked devices.

Stephanie Dismore, HP

Another aspect of consumerized IT is that users now expect tasks to follow them wherever they go. That might be the ability to print or to monitor a process from any location. “With the blending of consumer and commercial worlds, most of us now use pretty much the same technology at work as we do in our personal lives,” said Stephanie Dismore, vice president and general manager, Americas Commercial Channel at HP. “This trend started several years ago, and companies initially responded with BYOD (bring your own device) policies aimed at managing and securing the flood of personally owned gadgets coming into the enterprise.”

BYOD is now being replaced by CYOD (choose your own device), where employees may select from a fleet of specified devices. “CYOD has opened the door for a new segment of enterprise-class ‘3-in-1’ mobile devices that allow users to start a task on-the-go and finish at their desk without saving, synching, or restarting,” said Dismore.

Dismore cautions that not every organization will be ready for the move to CYOD. “Many have just finished implementing and aligning processes around personally owned devices. So be ready for the trend, but don’t rush it – tread lightly in conversations with customers,” she advises.

Michael Nadeau
About the Author
Michael Nadeau is a contributing editor for ENX Magazine.