Technology integrator SCC has called upon the UK's leading companies to join the national conversation surrounding the consumerisation of IT or risk missing the benefits of one of the biggest challenges to face British business since the high-tech revolution began.
Responding to the growing trend for users to bring web enabled gadgets such as laptops, smart phones and iPads into the workplace, Europe's largest independent technology solutions provider is encouraging companies to accelerate their discussions around this issue as a matter of urgency. With instant messaging and social networking fast becoming a staple of 21st Century office culture, SCC believes that firms need to actively explore their options without delay, to avoid any potential pitfalls.
“We know UK businesses are ready to do more than just talk about this issue because it’s on the agenda of every CIO we speak to. The consumerisation of IT is already happening in the workplace and it's happening in every company right now. There are many fundamental questions that organisations have to consider. For example, do they know how many staff-owned smart phones, iPads and laptops are already on their networks and do they know what they're doing on them? These are big questions and there are compelling reasons as to why it is necessary to know the answers,” said James Rigby, UK MD, SCC.
The consumerisation of IT, which is the process that brings personal productivity and social networking elements – both hardware and software – into the workplace environment, is a hot topic. The most recent available Gartner research says it is an issue that needs to be understood so business IT can cope with the demands placed on its networks today and in the future. As consumer technologies increasingly penetrate the workplace, organisations must have a strategy that copes with consumer email and communication services like instant messaging (IM) and voice over IP (VoIP); blogs, social networks and other web 2.0 services; unmanaged mobile devices; network management and remote connectivity.
The generation currently entering the workforce now regard such technologies as part of everyday life and as a result SCC is working with major brands to create an opportunity from this challenge. The company, which unveiled its cutting-edge Desktop as a Service offering in April – with the first UK demonstration of virtual desktop technology using the iPad, now reports that forward thinking companies are exploring ways to meet the issue head on by subsidising employee laptops – wrapping business and productivity benefits together with a desirable staff benefits package.
Meanwhile, the company points out that the major issues driving the IT industry today are part of a bigger consumerisation picture. Whether considering virtualisation, Desktop as a Service, cloud computing, VDI, Windows 7 or collaboration – each represents aspects of the consumerisation of IT and all need to be wrapped into an organisation’s vision for its business strategy.
“The consumerisation of IT is happening all around us, but it is a cultural movement that is still developing so nobody has all the answers. At SCC, we're confident we have mapped out the right path to take organisations confidently into the future, turning a challenge into a competitive differentiator. We've got 35 years’ experience of analysing new technologies, mastering their implementation and delivering commercial benefits, so our response to the evolving landscape is well underway.
“We’ve been running practical workshops with our customers in order to highlight the range of issues presented by consumerisation that need to be pulled together and considered. Of course this is not just about technology, it’s about considering the wider implications involving Human Resources and Finance amongst other functions, to develop and implement a hassle free solution for the business and its employees that will also create competitive advantage,” said Rigby.
SCC are running “Are you ready for consumerisation workshops?” today. To accelerate your progress email Consumerisation@scc.com to find out how consumerisation can benefit your organisation.
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