It's a simple equation – the more users in a company that can use a device or program without problems, the more productively it can be used. In this respect, business applications – just like end consumer products – need to be tailored from the ground up to meet the needs of as broad a user base as possible.
This process of "consumerising" corporate IT is being driven forward today by users and business alike. Users expect software within business to be as easy to use as they would expect from the apps and cloud services that they are accustomed to using on their private smartphones, tablets and PCs. This is why more and more are seeking to use their private devices for work as well as part of ByoD (bring-your-own-device) schemes. Businesses, on the other hand, want to hire as few specialists as possible and do not want to have to pay up for expensive training. Instead, they want to benefit from the existing knowledge that their employees have from using applications privately. Swiss businesses operating in the 'emerging markets' face particular challenges when it comes to user-friendliness and simplicity. Because well-trained specialists are an extreme rarity in these countries, even complex machines need to be operable by personnel that only have a very limited basic education.
To enable employees to independently manage their HR data, expense accounts and free days, for example, they rely as much on intuitive user interfaces as the departments themselves when ordering cloud resources, consumables or other services electronically.
Consumerisation also provides a basis for all self-service offerings. And the growth of self-service options in support and services – the "working customer" – also needs simple input forms and processes that can be understood without training.
The pace of consumerisation is also driven by the massively high-speed rhythm of innovation and the huge economies of scale generated in the end consumer business. For example, new functions are launched in the realm of smartphones at a much more rapid rate than in the professional field. Also, the price of components has fallen massively – complex systems such as 3D cameras for video game consoles only cost a fraction of what would have had to be paid just a few years ago for professional systems. This provides SMEs in particular with great opportunities. Today, they have the means to utilise powerful information and communications technology and integrate them into their offerings in a way that only major corporations could have afforded to do until recently.
Managers in business today cannot escape the need to address the matter of consumerising their IT, because the use of consumer services and private mobile devices is almost impossible to prevent. To ensure that security and confidentiality are still ensured at all times while exploiting the many benefits of the fusion of business and consumer technologies for commercial success, it is necessary to develop the relevant expertise and adapt your ICT infrastructure accordingly. An experienced ICT partner that has mastered the full range of technologies – from communications networks to mobile devices and apps to business applications and system integration – can provide critical support in this respect.