IT consumerization demands process change

The consumerization of IT is often discussed solely in terms of the bring-your-own-device movement. However, the consumerization of IT represents the combined impact of enterprise social developments, widespread mobile device use and readily-accessible cloud applications that business users can deploy. In many ways, consumer technologies gaining prevalence in the IT department is not so much a representation of change within information, but instead about how consumer technologies have changed. File transfer, email and social tools have combined with mobile device solutions to put advanced, intuitive technologies into consumer hands. As a result, many people are heading to work wanting to use the same technologies. While this familiarity with advanced technology is an asset for organizations, it also creates many operational challenges. Business process management (BPM) solutions can help companies deal with many of these problems.

The operational implications of consumerized IT functions
The major problem with the consumerization of IT movement is that it takes control away from the IT department and puts it in the hands of the average worker. This is not necessarily terrible from a purely technological perspective, as there are plenty of tech-savvy employees in the enterprise world. However, it does present challenges from a management and oversight perspective. Businesses must comply with industry regulations, protect data effectively, support common goals across the organization and ensure that workers in different departments can work easily with one another when necessary.

When IT departments have the control, they are often responsible for providing the necessary integration and connectivity to govern these various technological concerns. The consumerization of IT, however, creates what can quickly become a chaotic application and data sharing climate. This can create roadblocks between workers using different applications and services to get the job done. BPM software can alleviate these concerns by integrating and automating processes across diverse technological environments.

Using BPM to deal with consumerization
Cloud, social and mobile BPM solutions are designed to provide a foundational process framework that organizations can operate within. BPM principles are applied to the organization’s structure and the application automates processes when possible and integrates them throughout the company. As a result, end users retain the freedom to use the technologies that matter to them, but IT gains the visibility and operational interconnectedness it needs to function effectively in a consumerized environment.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications