Last month’s Twitterchat on the consumerization of IT, moderated by enterprise social platform provider Yammer, turned out to be a vibrant, spirited discussion on the shifting roles, responsibilities and expectations of today’s corporate IT departments — and the employees that rely on them.
[And I’m sure that this topic was further explored at Yammer’s first-ever annual customer conference YamJam, held in San Francisco October 28-30, which I unfortunately could not attend.]
Via the hashtag #yamjam12, participants weighed in on the basic premise that the widespread use of social networking apps has created a demand inside corporations: employees expect to be able to utilize the same tools on the job that they use in their personal lives.
This means using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn regularly and frequently throughout the work day, via the employee’s own device or on one that is company-owned.
Once caveat: with so many apps being SaaS-based — and free — one might ask, is the IT department even relevant anymore? The consumerization of IT absolutely puts a squeeze on the IT department, which has traditionally served as the gatekeeper, ensuring that everyone’s PC turned on, had the proper company-approved software installed, and was free of viruses and malware.
Indeed, in a consumerized IT world, employees may not need to rely on the IT department as much.
However, I think this provides an enormous opportunity for the IT department to shake things up, discover new tools for their companies, and serve as expert resources. Further, demand for a consumerized experience also comes from the IT department itself: savvy and forward-thinking IT professionals now ask their industry partners to provide them with tools, services, and platforms that deliver a beautiful, consumer-like experience for themselves and their companies.
As such, in a consumerized IT world, enterprise tools are no longer clunky and visually unappealing. Design, intuitiveness, and user-friendliness are the order of the day.
The end result: employees feel more valued, and they work smarter.
Please contact me if you would like to weigh in on this topic further — I’m curious to hear your experience, whether you are just an active user or a member of your company’s IT department. Send me a tweet, @JXB1Social.
Below is the Storify archive of the Twitterchat.