Consumerization of IT – Expecting Work to Be More Like Home
Ever been on a Netflix binge? You Breaking Bad fans know exactly what I’m talking about. My latest was when I discovered the availability of Star Wars Clone Wars’ final season in its entirety. Prior to that, it was cramming The Walking Dead’s first 2 seasons into one long (and gory) weekend. There truly is no better way to watch a TV series these days. You get completely immersed. It’s awesome.
But this isn’t a blog post about Star Wars Clone Wars, Walking Dead, or even going on weekend-long Netflix binges. It’s about how our increasingly seamless consumer experiences with technology devices and services has changed our expectations of how IT should work when we are at work.
That we can get almost all digital content on demand, streamed over the internet, direct to our personal devices- and that it almost always works the way it’s supposed to – is the new paradigm for, well…everything.
A side effect of the demand/instant gratification model is that it’s pretty infuriating when it doesn’t work.
Remember how your mouse’s pointer icon would transform into an hourglass icon while you waited for web pages to load? Just 6-7 years ago, that hour glass would spin, and spin, and spin…. Now we’re furiously clicking our mouse in frustration or rebooting the program after waiting just a few seconds for a Facebook news feed to refresh.
It was only inevitable that our consumer experiences with IT hardware, software, and services would gradually creep into our work life. The main theme of TSIA’s recent book B4B: How Technology and Big Data are Reinventing the Customer – Supplier Relationship is that consumers are more productive in their personal lives than they are at work. In response, they’ve brought their personal productivity to work via technology.
In one sense, this is manifested in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon. But viewed through a broader, more personalized prism BYOD merely reflects how our expectations of how technology should work in the consumer space have significantly raised our expectations of Enterprise technology. The resulting “consumerization” of customer expectations in the Enterprise has transformed IT vendors/suppliers including EMC and its competitors.
EMC understands this and is making aggressive moves to stay ahead of these trends by providing its customers and partners the experience they expect. At the highest level, EMC’s Federation strategy provides an increasingly seamless experience across the entire EMC family and throughout the IT Stack- from EMC products and services for storage and VMware for public cloud and virtualization, to RSA for IT security and Pivotal for big data analytics and innovative software.
IT’s consumerization requires vendors to adopt a more empathetic design ethos toward their customers and partners. For example, Pivotal recently announced the launch of the new Spring IO Platform 1.0- which is billed as the “Consumerization of Java for Developers”. This shift in design ethos extends to (and by definition includes a closer wedding between) product and services.
In EMC Customer Service, this means evolving to an agile and increasingly automated, proactive, and self-help driven experience. See Mary Cay Kosten’s recent blog post for a good list of what EMC is building in this space. As a prime example, support.emc.com’s My Product feature provides on demand reporting built to ensure always on availability of a customer’s products and services across their entire installed base.
The increasing preeminence of the software defined 3rd platform is accelerating the consumerization of IT. Software design’s inherent flexibility, along with its ability to tap into and better leverage big data, will dramatically enhance the types of service offers and capabilities EMC will provide to its customers and partners. I am very excited by the opportunity and challenges to continue evolving EMC’s Customer Service model in line with our customers and partners consumerized expectations.