Consumerization of IT is a topic that we hear every day and by every IT organization. The trends for consumerization seems to have captured the imagination of most end users. But yet, the overall cost to deploy desktops, laptops, tablets, and other devices appears to be at the same costs and approaches as in previous technology refresh cycles. What might be going on?
But first, as always, the disclaimer. The comments and opinions expressed on this blog are mine and do not represent those of my employer.
As mentioned in previous blog postings, self service adoption seems to be less than anticipated. Many organizations that are deploying new technologies seem to be of the opinion that this refresh cycle is like all of the previous cycles, and we are well within our comfort zone regarding how IT is deploying. Remembering one of my findings from my research is that there are no right or wrong answers only conscious and unconscious decisions. The adoption of self service seems to be falling right in the middle of this argument.
For whatever reason, the adoption seems to have stalled, this is my observation. I would like to know what your observation is.
End users reliance on IT for desk side or remote support seems not to have changed. In looking at the TCO and related costs to deploy, the path of least resistance seems to be doing the refresh just as we have performed others. There seems to be a remaining hesitancy in It embracing a defined role for the end users. The data migration, back up, logistics, and so on, are likely not very different than we have seem on the consumer side of the market place for quite a while. On the consumer side, by the way, I would content that the costs to perform these services have become such that many end users will defer since the cost/benefits and time required to perform the tasks are more easily performed by the retailer or partner in many cases.
Let’s explore possible drives at four levels- IT, the end user, the enterprise, and the business unit.
Historically, IT does not like to rely on end users to perform IT work. It has always been a challenge regardless of the job a person has to be fully reliant on someone else to perform work that you are measured by in terms of actual tasks. There is no doubt that IT can perform the work. There may be a distrust of sorts relying on the end user to perform what might be considered traditional IT work.
On the end user side, there may be a desire not to do IT’s business. Not to be leveraged unless the requirement is established by their business unit. End users while we may say we want to do it ourselves, may really not want to do that ourselves. We already have a full time job taking on more non-core work to end user might not be adopted if it is an option. Plus, there seems to be a perception that self service is designed to make “someone else’s” job easier.
In the enterprise the dynamics may continue to be that IT remains less confident in the end users ability to timely complete and perform the work. Another reason could simply be the lack of confidence in IT that exiting the operation creates a new service level and makes the end user a part of the process in performing the actual tasks. Many enterprises still struggle with charging back real costs. So if self service saves dollars, the lesser cost should show up somewhere, should’t it?
The Business Unit
Business units still struggle with the “what’s in it for me” partially reflective of the charge back but also protecting their staff form other work that might take time away from the business unit assignment.
With all of the inhibitors, it would seem that traction is lacking, but yet the management tools can easily deliver self service, zero touch deployments, and other basic capabilities.
In my opinion to scale the benefits of self service there must be something in it for each of the constituencies I have presented. A business case alone without benefits to the end users and business units themselves may be the key inhibitor. In our day to day lives, we make our own reservations, book our own hotels, buy and set up our own PC’s, and so on and on.
The next great step in consumerization as the enterprises look to reduce spending, is to create a new value proposition that enablers all of these disparate groups to embrace the management tools in the near term. I have joked before that “Kumbaya ” is not an IT strategy. Intuitively, everyone knows that remote, automated management tools with the end users adopting these are the right priorities for the business. It seems embracing the work is gapped by the adoption presently.