The following is Part 3 of a four part series exploring key takeaways from a recently published Gartner report entitled “Consumerize Your Enterprise Software Before it Consumes You” by analyst Brian Prentice.
Part 3: Recommended steps to consumerize Enterprise Applications
Gartner provides several recommendations for both the CIO and Application Leaders as they look to put the users of their applications, specifically internal users, at the center. Consumerization isn’t something to be “done,” it is a new way to view users and the tools they need to accomplish their day-to-day jobs. Viewing them as customers of your service, allows both the IT leadership and IT organization to shift from merely providing technology, to being a key success factor of the company.
Gartner recommendations for the consumerization of IT
Application leaders must:
- Recognize that consumerization is the result of being customer-centric, then learn how to be consumer-centric.
- Introduce ethnographic skills into the organization, either by direct hires or through project-based sourcing of external staff.
- Encourage a culture in which the attainment of professional goals by employees is appreciated as a way in which digital technology can deliver business innovation.
CIOs and application leaders should:
- Adjust their span of control to dynamically create value for employees.
- Allow constituents in the business latitude to develop, maintain and dispose of apps.
- Catalog valuable apps in an enterprise app store, and track user feedback on quality of experience of apps as they are, rather than focusing on required functionality.
IT Consumerization is not a fad
There are a few critical concepts for both the CIO/IT Leadership and Application Leaders hidden within those recommendations. The first and possibly the most important, is that consumerization is not a fad or a trend. Expectation of technology has changed, moving from something reserved for a few, to something everyone uses in their daily lives. The “cool” technology and toys are no longer at the office, they are in the hands of every employee. Consumerization of the workplace will happen; the only real question is how long it will take internal IT to catch up. The bold move for Application Leaders is to start working with their internal customers – to stop dictating and start interacting.
Get the business team involved
Another hidden piece of advice is for IT Leadership to not just engage the business groups from a feature/functional perspective, but to allow those groups to be active participants in creating applications. If we take this to a higher level, instead of SBUs and functional groups demanding control of technology spend (which many have been doing over the past year or more), forward thinking IT leaders are “giving” away resources to work directly within those organizations and providing a higher level of support while balancing the control needed to ensure risk is in line with reward.
Transforming how IT organizations operate
Finally, the last point for the CIO and IT Leadership is looking at consumerization as more than just “putting a new skin on an application” or making an application “mobile aware” – it is a change in how their IT organizations operate. What happens when self-service support does more than just lower call volumes to a help desk, and actually speeds the transaction between users (customers) and services? Or if an employee portal actually provides everything an employee needs, a single window into all services, from every area of the business, not just a single group, department or organization.
We will talk more about the last point in Part 4, as we go beyond our observations of the report and look at how EasyVista is helping CIOs, IT Leaders and IT organizations consumerize IT, evolving into a complete service organization and support the entire value chain.
If you missed the first two articles in the services, they are available on the blog or by clicking the links below. At EasyVista, we support the CIO and their IT organizations to radically improve the service experience for their users by simplifying and accelerating service delivery and management.
Consumerize Your Enterprise Software Before It Consumes You – Part 1, Gartner Report
Consumerize Your Enterprise Software Before It Consumes You – Part 2, Gartner Report
Consumerize Your Enterprise Software Before It Consumes You – Part 4, Gartner Report