Friday, February 25, 2011

Consumerization of Enterprise IT Goes Both Ways

Lots of talk recently about the consumerization of IT and the end of the IT department.

I am wrapping up two launches of consumerized IT services in the enterprise right now, and have been talking about this professionally for years. Here's what I have to tell you about it:

It goes both ways.

If you want to consumerize enterprise IT, your enterprise has to act like a retail consumer.

The product works the way it works, and that’s that. You can complain about it on Twitter, but you’re not going to have it change features and functionality to suit your every whim - or even to meet mandatory business requirements.

It is what it is. If you can live with that, you can have it!

The problem comes when enterprises can’t live with that. They DO have mandatory requirements, and the consumer stuff (and many enterprise COTS packages) just doesn’t meet them out of the box.

If such enterprises want to consumerize their IT services, then they are going to have to either accept not meeting their requirements for every system, or change their policies to match what is achievable off-the-shelf.

In the meantime, their employees are hacking work.