Don’t Compromise on Security or Speed in the Era of IT Consumerization

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Way back in 2005, Gartner analysts made the bold prediction that consumerization would be “the most significant trend affecting IT in the next 10 years.” Fast forward to today and they have every right to feel just a little bit smug about this – you won’t come across many that would disagree.

Consumerization of IT is a phenomenon wherein people take the technology they use in their personal lives (everything from smartphones and iPads, through to web-based email and social media) into the workplace only for it to be eventually embraced by the organization.  

Business apps are rarely as sleek, intuitive, user-friendly as consumable apps are, and when organizations use slow, clunky business software it can often lead to a digital divide in the experiences people have as consumers and as employees. This, in turn, can impact productivity and employee satisfaction.

Business IT teams are in an unenviable position. First, they need to fully understand the software and applications used within their organization to avoid serious security issues. Secondly, they must work to remove the divide between enterprise applications and non-enterprise authorized applications used by employees within the company.

Here are a few suggestions for businesses, based on our experience:  

Understand Shadow IT

Every business has a degree of Shadow IT going on – it’s up to the IT team to provide the services that bring these applications into the light, to allow employees to continue using them while ensuring the company network is secure. 

Risks of Shadow IT include data security or bug-infested software. Again, open communication between the IT department and the employees is pivotal to avoid this. Mindless adherence to the traditional way of doing things will only slow a company down. Therefore, any IT purchases or software updates must be well communicated within the company.

Invest in consumer-centric software

Businesses should try to secure buy-in from the right stakeholders before a new technology is adopted. This means employees feel involved in the process and can adapt at greater speeds to a new system they’re comfortable with. It is still important that all members of staff are educated by the IT department on the security risks, regardless of whether they’ve had a say in the new software’s introduction. 

Step up employee communications

If companies and IT departments communicate effectively, the adoption of new software can be seamless, allowing for security and speed. Upskilling employees and alerting them to the potential pitfalls of any IT purchase will allow for the business to transition smoothly and put them at greater ease about other technologies being used in the workplace. 

We will be discussing the Consumerization of IT on our Roadshow around Europe in October Join us to find out how the consumerization of IT can ensure speed and security for your business and hear insights from our customers across Europe.

Sign up to meet us in your city, check out where we are going to be here: Freshworks Experience Roadshow