Slideshow Consumerization of IT Action Plan: What You Need to Do

  • September 26 2012, 2:25pm EDT
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Here is a 10-point plan for consumerization efforts at your enterprise, as presented in a new report from information management advocacy and training group AIIM.

Decision Framework Starts with Questions

To get answers, you need to start with questions, right? A few for your decision framework: Will you allow BYOD? Who’s in control of provisioning devices? Who will support them? Does this entail a full culture change? Are you addressing governance? Will employees be able to use their personal cloud services for work? Do you allow a “land grab” of applications by business users, departments and divisions? Are you keeping efficiency at top of mind?

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Information Users and Usage are Changing

By 2014, one-third of the workforce is expected to be “millennials,” people born between 1976 and 2001. These workers have been raised on different expectations about their balance of work and life. Enterprises need to take advantage of the avid use of technology these workers bring to the office by focusing on how people are getting work done, not just what devices they are using. Companies need to think hard about how to use technology to enable the organization around work instead of working around existing technology.

Keep Your Ears Open

Listen to your users and, where it fits, give them what they want, says AIIM. They want better and faster access to the information that they need. IT needs to deliver tools in a way that matches both the technology and cultural expectations created by the consumerization trend. A big part of that trend relies on user experience. Something that isn’t intuitive results in a fail. Enable employees to present in the organization wherever they are through smarter provisioning and easier access to their information and applications.

Look Ahead Years, Not Months

Organizations need to spend more time thinking about the future, according to the AIIM report. Time needs to be allocated for anticipating what the future of work will look like.

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Tech Demands Require Business Context

Technology is not a business goal in itself. Make sure whatever technology you choose achieves business goals, first and foremost. “Best-in-class technology is great. Technology that fits your organization is even better,” the AIIM report states.

Systems Support Can Get Better

There should be a careful review of how IT provides tech support, and where it can get refined or more efficient. Many enterprises are already experimenting with applications for self-help videos and training, for instance, an area of software and SaaS that analyst groups see as ballooning.

IT Decisions Shouldn’t Be a Mystery

AIIM: “Make sure that each IT decision is accompanied by an authoritative, concise explanation of how the decision was made. Include end user testimonials when possible. Short and long-term success for CIOs requires careful balancing of four primary executive roles: produce results, administer systems, entrepreneur and integrate.”

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Friction is Bad for Ideas and Connectivity

Think of unique ways to reduce friction. For instance, create an enterprise scavenger hunt to identify and eliminate computer-based interfaces that force users to sit at a desk to input information or show poor integration with other systems. Or try an enterprise app “store” where employees can safely locate business applications.

Re-shape the Tech Supply

Enterprise IT and CIOs shouldn’t neglect vendors. Closer work with suppliers heightens the chance that products will fully meet your information user needs.

Re-imagine Your IT Goals

As this consumerization evolution takes hold, it may be a good time to go over the goals of your in-house information systems. As AIIM puts it: “We need … to create a new gospel; a new direction and purpose for IT.”

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For more on the consumerization IT …

This framework was developed from the AIIM report, entitled “The Impact of Consumerization of IT: Turning BYOD, the Cloud and Other Trends to Your Advantage.” Click here to register for the full AIIM report. For more other trends, strategy and news on the consumerization of IT at, click here. All photos used with permission from ThinkStock.