The consumerization of technology in the enterprise: A guide for CIOs

The consumerization of technology in the enterprise: A guide for CIOs

In this guide to the consumerization of IT, learn how enterprise CIOs are reevaluating their roles to accommodate new tech trends such as collaboration, mobility and BYOD.

Emerging collaboration platforms, a commitment to competitive advantage and a young, mobile workforce are all coalescing to propel the consumerization of technology in today's enterprise organization. Consumerization is the blending of personal and business use of technology devices and applications, a trend that is leading enterprise CIOs to re-evaluate their corporate IT practices and products with an eye toward delivering information via the hardware and software their customers -- and employees -- crave.

In this guide to the consumerization of technology in the enterprise, learn how to manage the tidal wave of new and emerging technologies in such areas as social media, collaboration and mobility.

This guide to the consumerization of technology is part of's CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

Table of contents:

The consumerization of technology requires new strategies, mindset

"The word 'consumerization' has become part of the IT language. But how does the consumerization of IT really impact our daily lives?" asks CIO and contributor Niel Nickolaisen. "To me, consumerization means that people and experiences beyond our control are setting our customers' expectations of IT. Because we now live in the age of technology immersion, our internal and external customers use lots of technology outside of their experience with us. Thus, their expectations about the use and support of technology come from others -- not just from us.

"In practice, this means that in every interaction we are being compared against the best in class. If someone else is incredibly good at the design and delivery of technology, that becomes the standard we must hit. Otherwise, we are not meeting expectations," Nickolaisen says.

Read Nickolaisen's full tip to learn how consumerization requires a new IT delivery mindset.

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The consumerization of technology and the CIO role

Expert Harvey Koeppel writes, "Those who question whether the CIO role will continue to exist are asking the wrong question. The question is not whether there will be CIOs by 2013. Instead, the question is, what role will CIOs at top-performing companies play this year, the next and the next?"

Koeppel suggests that an interesting place to start is with what many describe as the consumerization of IT, which has been driven largely by the ubiquitous use of the Internet and mobile and broadband technologies.

Learn how the CIO role is changing in Koeppel's piece on the consumerization of IT and the CIO role.

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The consumerization of technology: A glossary guide

These terms will help you separate your consumerization from your collaboration from your convergence.

The role of gamification and collaboration in the consumerization of technology

Toward the end of 2008, Bryan Barringer found himself looking for work, along with more than 7% of the nation's working population. Today he is leading the launch of a new enterprise social collaboration platform for FedEx Corp.'s 300,000 employees in 220 countries.

How did Barringer get from competing against millions of other unemployed professionals to being hired as manager for enterprise collaboration implementation at FedEx Services? He combined four things he understood well: behavioral studies, software development, video games and social networking.

Read more in our story on how gamification helped launch a new social collaboration platform at FedEx.

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The consumerization of technology: A quiz for CIOs

In a world driven by innovation and gotta-have-it-now sentiments, consumers often get their hands on the newest technologies before they officially reach enterprise and midmarket IT environments. With employees bringing these smartphones and tablets into the office with the intention of connecting them to business services, CIOs must have an eye toward confronting and embracing this consumerization of technology via strong mobility management and support plans, as well as robust BYOD policies.

What do you know about the consumerization of technology? Read some of our recent coverage and take this quiz to find out.

Test your consumerization IQ