Managed by IDG, and sponsored by Cisco and Citrix, the event will likely be a bit more staid and devoted to things bureaucratic. (The example agenda previews sessions on governance, asset lifecycle, risk management.) But it makes for an interesting compliment to Box.net’s lively Boxworks conference, and the long-running Enterprise 2.0 series of events.
A striking point. It doesn’t matter is large enterprises adopt consumerization internally at all if a large wave of workers are technically external. Their employee-owned Apple Store purchases are the enterprise devices.
It’s been called the Gig Economy, Freelance Nation, the Rise of the Creative Class, and the e-conomy, with the “e” standing for electronic, entrepreneurial, or perhaps eclectic. Everywhere we look, we can see the U.S.workforce undergoing a massive change. No longer do we work at the same company for 25 years, waiting for the gold watch, expecting the benefits and security that come with full-time employment. We’re no longer simply lawyers, or photographers, or writers. Instead, we’re part-time lawyers-cum- amateur photographers who write on the side.
Today, careers consist of piecing together various types of work, juggling multiple clients, learning to be marketing and accounting experts, and creating offices in bedrooms/coffee shops/coworking spaces. Independent workers abound. We call them freelancers, contractors, sole proprietors, consultants, temps, and the self-employed.
And, perhaps most surprisingly, many of them love it.
I’m here in person, so won’t be watching much video. But I will for sure be checking out Paul’s keynote this afternoon. I really agreed with his description of new IT, though 90% of VMware makes doesn’t quite match that vision yet.
Marco makes some great points about the psychology of enterprise IT decision-making, and the expected behaviors of enterprise vendors. Particularly that enterprise IT doesn’t just evaluate products based on utility, price, and features… but also how much it would cost to retrain/ integrate.
But he might be giving us in enterprise IT too much credit. In my experience, the skill of enterprise IT at measuring anything abstract like productivity or time is usually not strong. (This is why there is rarely intense fallout from underestimating time to completion by 100% :-) )
That said, I agree that Chrome OS notebooks probably won’t be championed by CIO’s. But only because they won’t be compelling enough to force anybody’s hand. If one or two generations from now the hardware/experience turns into an iPad-like fad, nothing would stop these from penetrating organizations, even lack of longterm support. If JP Morgan and the Financial Times just bought employees iPads, it’s not too crazy to imagine that Google Chrome OS Notebooks could ushered in, too.
Google’s targeting of Chrome OS is interesting. Rather than trying to attract consumers, who have demonstrated that they’re not interested in “Net PC”-like browser-only hardware, Google is positioning Chrome OS hardware as inexpensive, low-IT-overhead alternatives for businesses to deploy instead of desk computers.
But there’s a major problem with this idea: technological conservatism at this scale.
That’s why that PC on your banker’s desk is probably running Windows 2000, an 11-year-old platform: because it’s extraordinarily expensive to update it, and the current system works acceptably without any massive, one-time expenditures on this year’s budget…
I’m an IT Director of an internal, enterprise IT organization.
But more and more I find myself influenced and inspired by people and industries outside of my profession.
One thing I talk about with my staff a lot is offering customer-centric services. Some people call this: the consumerization of IT. But even before that phrase existed, being customer-centric was a valid philosophy.
What does this mean in practice?
Going the extra mile to be clear, accessible, and informal in our communications. Writing well. (yes, WITH LANGUAGE). even though we are just IT geeks
Going the extra mile to anticipate likely issues and proactively document for them
Going the extra mile to make outstanding support resources and provisioning tools
Designing well. (yes, GRAPHICALLY) even though we are just IT geeks
Avoiding unfriendly formats and attachments in our communications. This means: No .pdf email attachments, no URLs that end in .doc
Making everything as self-serve as possible
Getting out of the way
Iterating + improving rapidly
Helping users be amazing
Sometimes offering consumer style services can be challenging, attitude-wise, because we offer internal services. Some staff will question whether it’s worth it to put effort into things that “only” internal staff see.
Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes.
While it does take time to be customer-centric, it saves more time. It’s consistent with the entire spirit of IT: centralizing a resource the entire organization needs. The easier an IT service is to use, the more efficient it is for ALL employees.
When IT doesn’t take the time to make services extremely easy to consume, it COSTS the organization money, reflecting complexity onto an entire organization instead of absorbing it.
Being consumer-esque also keeps IT staff on its toes, and gives us fun, stimulating challenges. Consumerifying our internal IT services is a great break from what’s often perceived as the dreary, bureaucratic nature of the enterprise. I have great fun with my staff “playing Apple,” with our products, and coming up with fun, helpful error messages.
But I’m hardly a guru of this stuff.
Kathy Sierra is a guru of being truly customer-centric. And I recommend you Google her talks, wisdom, etc.