The topic of consumerization of IT has been floating around the blogosphere for quite some time now, so I thought I’d write a post with my perspective on the matter. From what I gather, consumerization of IT means that businesses, and users, are becoming more powerful with modern tools and plug-and-play apps – ones that are more consumer-driven by nature. This is good (more business agility) but can be a risk too, if not monitored/controlled by some higher vision/architecture.
Fast and Easy Adoption
The success of cloud applications for consumers often relates to the friction involved in adopting the technology. In other words, how easy is it to bring this new technology into my everyday life (and in this case, my professional life)? From the enterprise perspective, this adoption process is on a grand scale and requires a number of stakeholders to be involved – both from business and IT. Both business and IT people need to understand the added value of the application and how it will be adopted within the enterprise.
Several features of the Mendix platform allow enterprise IT to treat very complex mission critical applications as though they are consumer focused cloud apps. The influx of consumer applications in the workplace has given employees new expectations for the business applications they use on a daily basis. The reason I think Mendix applications fit into this category of ‘consumerized’ IT is that they are innately flexible enough to deal with these new expectations.
A Recommendation for IT
These technologies are getting easier for companies to adopt – besides being open to new philosophies it is important that business and IT work together and create a common goal of more business-enablement in combination with adhering to standards and architecture; not easy, but it can be done. Some companies are looking at this in the composite application space where they’re extending functionality of existing systems and using these platforms versus a wholesale changeover approach from the heyday of ERPs.
Based on the current rate of market adoption of these technologies, this looks to be a positive trend. At Mendix we’re trying to make building enterprise class web apps quicker and easier, so that they become more adaptable to change and innately ‘future proof.’ Flexibility in these applications provides business agility for the organization as a whole – a very positive impact for many, if not all, of our users.