Monday, April 16, 2012

Consumerization of IT Explained

By now you have all heard about the latest trend called "Consumerization of IT."

As with other trending topics like cloud computing, the term is somewhat ambiguous and means different things to different people.
In the corporate IT world, this move to the consumerization of IT has been described as the penetration of employee-purchased mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.

Consumerization of IT is often associated with ease-of-use, attractive interfaces, intuitive functionality and low prices. Apple is often referenced as the example for this type of computing, however it is not known for low prices.  People like the iPhone because it is simple to use, and it has a nice interface.  Steve Jobs always wanted things to be simple to use and beautiful to look at.

Consumerization of IT is usually contrasted with "Enterprise IT" which often brings with it, outrageously long rollouts, confusing interfaces, obscure functionality and high prices. Examples of "Enterprise IT" are SAP and Oracle, need I say more?

Certainly, there's no question that apps designed with ease-of-use as a primary objective are much simpler and more satisfying to use.  Being able to choose the tools you prefer is great for users, but it creates many problems for the folks in IT.  After all, diversity means more work to manage.

This phenomenon is going to swell to greater and greater dimensions. IT organizations are going to face more and more pressure to support the BYOD (bring your own device) world.  The iPhone and the iPad were just the beginning, who knows what is next?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Check In With Foursquare

Now that you are on board with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn it may be time to check out

Foursquare is the location-based social networking site.  It uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS to display restaurants, bars, parks, and other attractions near your location.

When you visit any of those locations, you can “check in” on the foursquare app, which then broadcasts your location to your friends. You’ll also see where your friends have checked in, which helps you meet up with them or find new things to do. You can also send alerts to your contacts on Facebook or Twitter.

Foursquare also offers unique opportunities for businesses. Business owners can use Foursquare to engage their mobile-savvy customers with specials and discounts. You can even track how your venue is performing with Foursquare’s venue analytics.

Foursquare allows you to earn points, profile badges and the biggest foursquare honor…a mayorship.

If you are not totally comfortable letting people know where you are then Foursquare is probably not for you. However, if you want to take advantage of special offers, and stay connected 24/7, then I would give it a try.