Mark Stone, SVP & CIO, Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc. recently published a very interesting article on the real problems associated with the Consumerisation of IT. Normally articles on this topic talk about the hype associated with BYOD (bring your own device to work) or the ability to get cloud based services or software. Mark has taken a far more pragmatic view and looks at what it actually means to him as a CIO.
He argues that:
The users we serve perceive themselves to be as or more knowledgeable of technology as those in IT. Unfortunately, they do not understand how the proliferation of devices, users, interfaces, and applications greatly complicate the environment that IT must support. They do not understand that IT is responsible for meeting security, privacy, SOX, and PCI requirements. They do not understand that a web site can be operational in 48 hours but integrating it with other internal IT applications can take time (and require extensive user testing!). Their view of technology is simple. The reality is that it is not. Their perceived expertise – just enough knowledge to be dangerous – and the inability to understand the complexity of the technical infrastructure required to support and enable the functionality they request is the first thing that keeps me up at night.
Mark goes onto say that:
It’s all about recognizing that the boundary between your company and the rest of the world is getting blurry. Letting our consumers engage with our systems can transform our business relationships and our economics. We just need to be sure that we are ready for the real consumerization of IT and the perceived experts that this trend is birthing.
Mark makes some excellent points and I am sure we all recognise customers who have “just enough knowledge to be dangerous”.
The full text of the article can be found at ByCIOs.com but is available to members only.