Here’s a question for you: Why did Borders fail when Barnes & Noble didn’t? They’re both in the same business, yet one is going strong while the other is liquidating. While I realize there are probably a number of reasons, one really sticks out to me: Barnes & Noble embraced new tech trends, while Borders didn’t. Borders waited until it was too late to get into the e-reader business, while Barnes & Noble’s Nook was already well established.
1. They embrace it: Some companies recognize the trends and figure out how they can use it to their advantage.
2. They fight it: Some companies see the coming trends, and fight to keep things the same. They see change as a threat to their business.
3. They do nothing: Other companies sit back and wait until they’re absolutely sure the trend will stick around before jumping on board. As a result, they’re constantly playing catch-up.
I bring this up because we are currently in the middle of a new tech trend that will affect most every company: The consumerization of IT. Consumer devices are being used, and will continue to be used in the workplace. Employees are buying their smartphones/tablets, and using them for personal and work-related activities.
The big question for your company: What are you going to do about it? You can waste time and energy fighting this trend, you can choose to ignore it altogether, or…you can take advantage of it. My advice is obvious: Figure out how you can take advantage of it.
Where do you start? If employees insist on using their own devices for work, make it easy for them. Give them mobile apps that that let them do their jobs better/faster. Create smartphone and tablet versions of your web apps so they can access them from anywhere.
This probably sounds like a lot of work, but I assure you it isn’t. Using this new method for creating mobile web apps, you can create all of your PC/tablet/smartphone apps using one process. Better yet, since it creates web apps, it doesn’t matter which phone/platform an employee uses. It works everywhere.
In conclusion, it’s quite obvious that the consumerization of IT is happening. The real question for your company is this: What are you going to do about it? Will you fight it? Will you do nothing? Or, will you take advantage of it? It’s up to you.