I’m just putting the final touches to the summer edition of CIO Connect magazine. As usual, there’s a strong focus on IT leadership but there’s also a take on consumerisation, which will be the topic for CIO Connect’s annual conference later this year.
Entitled Power to the people?, the scene for the conference was set in the spring edition of the magazine, from which the following slice of the editorial is lifted:
Now people have access to better technology at home than in the office, it has become almost de rigueur to be able to show off a bunch of cool apps on your latest Steve Jobs device.
One CIO mentioned to me recently how his 10-strong board had been given iPads. It was, he believed, the epitome of forward thinking. Other companies have taken a similar strategy, giving devices to executives on the move.
Some IT leaders are honest enough to admit that the device is mainly used to keep their children happy playing ‘Angry Birds’. Others, however, are convinced the device provides the future of enterprise connectivity.
But there is an elephant in the room: consumerisation, which turns the traditional model of IT procurement inside out. Increasing number of users are buying their own devices and expecting the business to provide secure connectivity.
Another CIO mentioned to me recently how he was surprised that Apple seemed less concerned by enterprise than consumer concerns. But why should the technology giant’s focus be the enterprise?
A purchase order of 10 iPads for a single company looks diminutive next to global consumer tablet sales. Estimates suggest that by year-end 2010, Apple had sold somewhere near 15 million iPads.
It does not stop there. Analysts expect the technology giant to ship as many as 30 million units of its second-generation iPad during its first year of sales. In short, Apple and innovative technology peers such as Google are helping to break the traditional model of enterprise computing.
Rather than licences and devices being purchased internally, employers are picking their own technology and expecting to be able to plug and play. It is a development which creates new and rapidly emerging challenges for the CIO. Are you ready?