Consumerization is here and is being adopted at a rapid pace. We know and understand that in the future, the pace of adoption will only increase, not slow down. As I have suggested on several blogs, IT cannot ignore the issue, and saying "no" is not an appropriate response any longer, we must provide an answer that enables adoption either now or at some point in the future.
I have suggested that virtualization, the cloud, hypervision and governance are the short term enablers as well... but first the disclaimer,
The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and do not represent those of my employer.
I believe that we live in a world of governance, I know that this may not be a popular point of view, but that is my belief nonetheless. I would like to hear your point of view as well.
Whether it is technology, social networking, mail, everyday conversations, there is a level of governance which drives our corporate (and personal) behaviors. When technology outpaces governance there are in my opinion two short term outcomes- the first is security and regulatory, and the second outcome is social.
First, security. All of us in business, regardless of the size, industry or role within a business, are guided by a set of principles always documented. If not doumented by our employers, the governance is defined by the local, state,federal, industry or other regulatory organization. We all are trained on the governance and we know what is fundamentally right, wrong, acceptable or not acceptable.
With consumerization, the governance is quite lacking. A couple of examples will illustrate that point. Many states now have consumer protection laws which states that devices that could expose personal information be accounted for and in some cases encrypted. In businesses we typically encrypt as a normal course of operations.
Yet, for smart phones, PDA's, tablets, home PC's and other devices, even though we may know that such content is contained on those devices as well, we do not apply that same standard of security. After all, these are "personal" devices.
As a result we have this co-mingling of personas, which outpaced our ability to define a governance policy that end user could adopt to be compliant.
The other aspect is the social governance. Since I do travel quite a bit, I observe a lot of "mobile behavior". In other words, like many I hear conversations, some very specific, about topics that relate to business and personnel.
Part of the training aspect of ubiquitous mobility is applying governance so that end users know how and when to leverage certain technologies. The "mobile behavior' I observe suggests that the separation from personal and business conversations are so co-mingled that end users may no longer differentiate the two.
The governance should suggest that certain locations, certain areas, are not appropriate venues to have buiness conversations of a sensitive nature. However, there may not be governance and training in place at many businesses which would suggest how to leverage the technology. We have all had this experience.
Having stated all of this, the solution is not as straightforward as it might seem. The speed of adoption in some businesses may in fact preclude creation of governance. In fact, governance may be considered a "bad" thing.
In an environment where consumers and businesses are constantly under hacking concerns and the regulatory consequences are becoming more pronounced, governance may soon rise up to be the focal point for fair adoption of future technologies.