Over the last decade, we’ve seen an infiltration of consumer gadgets in the workplace, which people use for new and better ways to perform their tasks. Here lied the challenge for IT to securely manage and deliver IT services to these devices.
Now there’s a whole new challenge where the appetite for on-demand, self controlling cloud services and applications are sought after by the workforce.
Is your organization ready to deal with this? Are you ready to welcome consumer IT’s reincarnation as a service?
The initial challenge of Consumer IT
The earlier challenge came when users bought their own devices and expected them to incorporate their work in them, such as email and other corporate data. They didn’t ask for permission from IT but rather just went ahead with it. Of course IT had to say yes to it. After all who wanted to stop the boss from using her sleek new iPad?
To tackle this, IT had to change its approach to device and application management. Mobile Data Management (MDM) solutions, virtual desktops and apps were deployed. BYOD programs came into functioning. A fundamental change occurred in the way, and the place, that people work.
IT being ignored
Today, more than ever before, the concept of self service has evolved to a great extent. At a personal level we are used to subscribing to whatever application we find of use. The growth of mobile has also led to the growth of the cloud. In fact it’s grown so much that users not only ask but expect enterprise IT applications to be available as an on demand cloud service.
Use of the cloud by business heads and departmental developers is growing organically. Examples can be cited as:
- Development and testing teams taking their work to the cloud for more agile development and an elastic testing environment.
- Increased use of public file sharing services like ShareFile or Dropbox has increased as they are simple and provide a better experience.
- Social and marketing teams are coming up with their own rogue websites on the cloud to run campaigns and do product launches due to IT failing to meet their requirements or deadlines.
- Sales teams using CRM solutions from Oracle or Salesforce instead of the in-house solutions.
No matter which of these is happening in your organization, the point is that users prefer these alternative solutions for better speed, agility, innovation and experience.
However, this leads to a shadow IT framework which you obviously do not want. Loss of control and compliance and intellectual property getting leaked is a major risk for your business and one which surely you want to avoid.
Consumer IT’s second coming
Currently, there’s a significant paradigm change for CIOs and IT. It’s a positive change, and is basically changing the role of IT.
Your role now changes from keeping the lights on i.e. delivering apps, managing devices and controlling data centers, to becoming a partner to business units in a strategic manner. IT can extend their value to business by enabling mobility in the enterprise by embracing cloud services and enhancing the way things get done.
This change comes as IT becomes more and more of an agent to all IT, internal or external, moving towards the concept of IT as a Service (ITaaS).That is going to be the way going forward for communications and cloud computing. It will allow cloud technologies to deliver a complete package of IT services through a self service portal for users.
ITaaS makes IT shifts its focus from building and operating enterprise applications to aggregating and delivering in-house and third party cloud services, which may include enterprise apps native to the cloud as well as cloud based mobile applications.
This new role of IT won’t happen overnight. ITaaS will take an evolutionary process that is now underway in many organizations. Traditional architecture and processes will have to evolve into a new service based approach to IT. Existing investments in infrastructure, virtualization and automation will be built upon to accommodate the cloud infrastructure. Self service and quick access to the cloud will have to be worked upon.
You can start your move to ITaaS by making room for a private cloud and gradually moving into a hybrid solution. Integrating the cloud and on-demand infrastructure will require integrating them to your current business data and processes.
At Ephlux we work on integrating JD Edwards and other enterprise IT and mobile applications with the current systems and processes that you may have. We’re focused to work on cloud based solutions and heralding this new age of ITaaS. So are you ready to welcome consumer IT in its second coming?