If you look at the picture at the top of this column, you'll see right away that I'm a Boomer of a certain age, and like many of my cohorts, I was not exactly pro-war during the 1960s. Well, I still have a few activist bones in my aging body, and there's another war I'd like to stop: the grinding battle between enterprise IT and the masses clamoring to use smartphones, social media, and other noveau technologies at work.A lot has been written about the "consumerization" of IT and the flood of mobile and social networking products into the workplace. There are many reasons that the deluge frightens IT. Some of those reasons are pretty good: Security is a very valid worry, of course, and there are some knotty cost and control issues to sort out. But I have a lot less sympathy for the IT exec who simply says no to technology that he or she can't control or simply doesn't understand. [ Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile … [Read more...] about Consumer tech is coming to the workplace, so stop fighting it!
How is your company handling the rising tide of consumer smartphones, like the iPhone ? Slideshow: 40 Days of Summer (Gadgets)I've asked that question of a lot of IT professionals over the past couple of years. Here's one response: "We're fully behind the iPhone at my company. We're replacing BlackBerries where and when we can. The iPhone user experience trumps [our IT] management concerns. We make it happen for the ones who want it." But I've also heard the contrasting view, the one you might sum up as, "We have our users so locked down, we don't worry about the iPhone or its ilk."IT pros who answer either way underestimate their users or the degree of trouble multiple types of half-secured consumer devices can get them into. You may be handling it now, but how about when your employees dump their desktops for their own iPads or similar devices? How about when the numbers really mount? Have you kept pace with the number of smartphones being released? And many users have two or three … [Read more...] about The Rise of Consumer Tech
It's 1 a.m. and Josh Robin is busy working."I'm kind of stir crazy, don't need a lot of sleep, so it's probably prime time for getting things done," says the fast-talking 25-year-old director of innovation at MBTA, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.At any moment on any given day, Robin might be Skype-ing with interns, Tweeting work updates, or tapping on his personal iPhone to manage a cutting-edge mobile ticketing project. It drives him crazy that his workplace doesn't have Wi-Fi, which basically means he can't use his personal computer there.Robin pays the monthly iPhone bill out of his own pocket, while a corporate-issued BlackBerry collects dust. "BlackBerries have become the metaphor for old-line IT," he says. "It would be a pain in the butt," if he was forced to use it.If you think Robin is an oddity, think again. He is part of the next generation workforce known as the Millennials. They've been called many names: Always-On Generation, Gen Y and Digital Natives. They … [Read more...] about CIOs Look Ahead: Millennials, Consumer Tech and the Future
Apple has unveiled the latest iPhone and the latest enhancements, including a new biometric security offering called Touch ID. In addition, Apple confirmed that iOS 7 will be released later this month. So will Apple's newest offerings have any impact to corporate security?On Tuesday, Apple announced the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, two devices that will replace the iPhone 5. However, while the consumer market will have their own opinions and thoughts on the latest Apple offering, the IT community is paying attention for different reasons. Tuesday's announcement from Apple's HQ in Cupertino, California also discussed iOS 7 and the biometric security offering, Touch ID.During Apple's launch event, Phil Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said that passcodes were too cumbersome for some people. "In our research about half of smartphone customers do not set up a passcode on their device, and they really, really should," he remarked.More on Apple's iPhone 5S and … [Read more...] about Apple’s new iPhone moves impact more than just consumer tech
Over the past few years, new devices and new services have made technology a nearly universal part of the consumer marketplace. At Forrester, we refer to this shift as Tech Populism, a trend that has changed the way individuals use and consume technology in both their personal and professional lives. And in Forrester's new book, Empowered, analysts Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler examine the potential of this trend: proactive business leaders are harnessing the power of consumer technologies as a way to enhance customer intimacy, improve levels of internal collaboration, and foster innovation.While examples of consumer technologies affecting the marketplace are abundant, at Forrester we're watching four key "groundswell" technologies that are putting more power into the hands of consumers--and which are gradually shaping the way technology is consumed in the enterprise. These include: social, mobile, cloud, and video. But despite the widespread availability of these tools, companies are … [Read more...] about Consumer Tech Meets Your Sourcing Group: How to Transform
The spread of consumer technologies at work has put many IT departments on the back foot, but a conference in San Francisco this week is looking at ways IT managers can take back control and turn the chaos to their advantage.IPads and smartphones are only the most visible consumer trends shaking up the workplace. Social networking, a proliferation of free online services and an expectation of slick, Google-like interfaces are all pressuring IT departments to rethink their game.BYOD: There is no stopping employees' devices on your networkA decade ago, just 10 percent of devices in the workplace were "unsanctioned," or outside the control of the IT department, according to Dion Hinchcliffe, executive vice president of strategy at Dachis Group, a business consulting firm. Today, he said, it's at 30 percent and rising fast."We're only 20 percent away from most IT being outside the control of the IT department. That will make us not the IT department any more," he told the crowd at the … [Read more...] about As consumer tech sweeps enterprise, IT staff fight for control
Call it the great consumer embrace—or is it?Nearly three out of four companies are adopting consumer tech, according to a report released today by Avanade, a business technology services firm. This notion flies in the face of message boards and reader comments from techies condemning the practice as folly."There's definitely some separation of beliefs between the leaders versus the rank and file," says Ryan McCune, senior director of innovation and incubation at Avanade.Avanade surveyed more than 600 C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT decision makers late last year. The results, Avanade says, debunk myths about the consumerization of IT. Chief among the findings is that CIOs are not hesitant to embrace consumer tech.Moreover, companies are dedicating IT resources to managing consumer gadgets in the workplace: 91 percent of C-level executives and 75 percent of IT decision makers report that their IT departments have the staff and resources to manage the use of … [Read more...] about Are CIOs Championing Consumer Tech?
If there's one phrase I associate with the future, it's control panels. You know, the gleaming, custom built set of controls that provide a direct interface to the advanced machines that we use in our every day lives, here in the futuristic world of the 21st century. A sampling of BYOD user policiesBut a funny thing happened along the way to that vision: we invented general-purpose computers, some small enough to fit in your hand, and made them cheap enough that most people could buy one or three. And those mundane consumer devices began to show up in the most extreme places -- and in some cases, to complement or even displace the equipment that was already there.[ Computing fossils: Old tech holding on for dear life | 6 things every IT person should know ]With the International Space Station, the human race has finally built a long-lived, honest-to-goodness spaceship -- even if it never gets more than a few hundred miles from the earth's surface. The word "spaceship," of course, … [Read more...] about Extreme BYOD: When consumer tech goes to unexpected places
Users of consumer technology and social media reacted quickly after explosions ripped through crowds near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week, sending out updates and snapping photos and recording videos that officials said would be "critical" pieces of evidence in their investigation into the bombings. [ Massive Citizen Smartphone Photo and Video Probe Underway Into Boston Bombings ] [ Investigators Comb Social Nets to Look for Bombing Clues ]In the hours after two bombs exploded within 100 yards of each other in Boston's Copley Square shortly before 3 p.m. on April 15, the FBI set up a hotline for citizens to use to tell investigators about photos and videos taken in the area at the time of the incident. On Thursday, investigators released surveillance photos of two suspects and asked the public for help identifying them. A massive, sometimes violent, manhunt ensued and continued into the day on Friday.Early in the investigation, police stressed that photos and videos … [Read more...] about Consumer Tech Key in Boston Marathon Bombing Probe
Lower average selling prices for millions of new smartphones and tablets will help keep the global market for technology in 2014 at 1% below the levels of last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.LAS VEGAS -- Lower average selling prices for millions of new smartphones and tablets will help keep the global market for technology in 2014 at 1% below last year's level, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.The global technology market reached $1.068 trillion in 2013, but will adjust downward by 1% to $1.055 trillion in 2014, said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis at the CEA, which sponsors the annual International CES event opening here this week.Together, smartphones and tablets make up 43% of the total consumer technology market, with smartphones well above 30% of the total and the largest category by far, when compared to TVs, wearable devices, PCs, cameras and other devices."Sales growth for tablets and smartphones is slowing, but remains … [Read more...] about Consumer tech spending will see small contraction in 2014