Businesses must continue embracing the consumerisation of IT


By Heinz Stephan, Director Consumer Solutions at Westcon Southern Africa


Let’s face it, BYOD is a trend that was and is driven by consumer employees and their need for mobility in their work. It’s not just about increasing productivity, it’s about ensuring personal satisfaction through knowing that should there be a work emergency, you can handle it no matter where you are. It’s also about the convenience of being able to work from home should you be ill or have a personal emergency.


Enter, the Internet of Things (IoT), and suddenly you have a device strapped to your wrist that can remind you of meetings while monitoring your heart rate, or a fridge that lets you know when to go grocery shopping and of course, the wireless routers in your home that ensure that you are always connected. In the last year it has become increasingly evident that IT trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the IoT are being driven by a consumer workforce that wants more intelligent devices to meet their needs.


It’s this supply and demand dynamic that I believe will drive much transformation and innovation in consumer devices in the year to come. Consumers are no longer purchasing a device because they are loyal to a particular brand. Tech companies will have to delve further into the needs of the consumer to gain traction in the market in 2016. A consumer may have been buying one type of device for years, but if that device remains static while another offers innovation and meets their changing needs, then that is what they will purchase.


Tech devices, like wearables, connected cars, connected fridges, and even remote monitoring in devices, have made consumers greedy and they want to know what a device can do for them as opposed to what they can do with a device. The less effort an action requires, the better. Consumers crave sleek and innovative devices that are easy to navigate and create convenience for them as they move forward in BYOD and the IoT.


Consumerisation of IT will continue to shake the technological foundations of many businesses. But if there’s one thing that we know about IT, it’s that it is constantly changing. If companies are going to remain successful, they need to follow the needs of the consumer, and create products and services to meet those needs.


The same goes for businesses and their employees. BYOD and the IoT have already helped many businesses save costs, become more agile and increase employee productivity. Who’s to say the demands of consumer employees won’t help business gain more benefits in 2016? 


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