When dicussing next-generation IT, there are a number of routes one can go down. For example, there's the super-sexy technology route-full of shiny stuff such as wearable technology, modern-day automation, cloud services, and tools to help crack "big data".
Then there are the latest buzzwords that sit between technology and those that consume it, where it's easy for people to pontificate around, if not get lost in, words or phrases such as consumerisation of IT, gamification, quantification, genius bars, and the alike.
For me however, next-generation IT is about the corporate IT organisation and their customers, rather than the technology. It's about the people that make and consume IT services - the people-to-people and people-to-technology interactions and touch points, the IT services that are created and consumed, and the service experience. It is also about matching supply to demand whilst also meeting expectations around service.
The Evolution of IT Service Delivery
Over the last twenty years, ITIL (the ITSM best-practice framework formerly known as the IT Infrastructure Library) has helped streamline IT process. Through ITIL, the corporate IT organisation has moved its thinking from managing technology domains and components to managing and delivering IT services, which has resulted in corporate IT organisations focusing more on IT (and IT services) not only at the point of creation but also, and more importantly, at the point of consumption.
ITIL adoption was a great step forward for corporate IT organisations, a change in IT mindset as well as a change in IT operations, but unfortunately, no change occurs in a vacuum. While the corporate IT organisation has upped its supply-side game with talk of IT services, customer satisfaction, and possibly even outside-in thinking, the demand-side goalposts have also moved. They're in a relatively new end zone, where, since the mid-2000s, employees have benefitted, or have wanted to benefit, from "the consumerisation of IT." It's this consumer-driven, demand side of the house that spawned BYOD (bring your own device) and it has also challenged the corporate IT organisation's monopoly on corporate IT provision.
The Challenge Is Consumerisation, but Not of IT
According to Wikipedia, "Consumerisation is the growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organizations." In many ways, however this definition misses the real point, and it's probably why the so-called consumerisation of IT is often seen solely as BYOD (or BYOT-bring your own technology).
Consumerisation, or the replication of consumer experiences in the workplace, is about more than just corporate IT or alternative personal devices and services. It's not the consumerisation of IT but rather, it's the consumerisation of service. The challenges and opportunities of consumerisation are not just limited to the corporate IT organisation and the services they offer, however are relevant to all corporate service providers, whether it be HR, facilities, security, or finance.
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