In Part 4 of this series I reviewed some of the ways that Consumer oriented IT has challenged the traditional Enterprise driven approach. And we looked into some of the symptoms of this challenge, which include BYOD and Shadow IT.

But where some see risk, others see opportunity.

In the fifth and final post of this series, we will look at some of the specific ways in which the Enterprise is starting to respond to this challenge.

Oh How the Game has Changed

Jeetu Patel, GM of EMC Syncplicity, in a recent article for the site ReadWrite, identified 5 ways in which Consumer driven IT has changed the game for the Enterprise:

1. Technology adoption now comes through quality user experience

2. Simplicity trumps an abundance of features

3. Continuous improvement of software

4. Clients are now in the driver’s seat

5. Client success = vendor success…software that doesn’t work and won’t be adopted is going to fail

Patel see this first-hand at Syncplicity: an initiative of the Enterprise-centric, data storage giant EMC, trying to break into the consumer space…or rather, trying to develop an Enterprise solution in a Consumer-centric way.

Not everyone agrees. David Brakoniecki responded that Enterprise software needs to have an abundance of features to be useful.

The common complaint against the Google Apps productivity suite is that the Google Spreadsheet app lacks many of the key features that make Microsoft Excel so powerful

Paul Miller recently wrote an essay for the Verge on the large, complex and sophisticated nature of Photoshop, likening it to the city of New York. In his interviews with Photoshop product manager, Miller discovered that the software is so feature-rich that no one person understands it all…and yet, trying to make it simple would undermine its very power.

Follow the money

Despite these challenges – or perhaps because of them – consumer-oriented approaches to the Enterprise are fast becoming a potential goldmine. From 2011 to 2012, there was a dramatic shift in the direction of venture capital (or VC) funding. According to a recent study by the Big Data Group, Enterprise focused startups received 40% more venture funding, while Consumer focused startups received 45% less funding.

And this is a change that is as much about attitude and mindset as it is about a particular solution, or a particular technology.

It runs much deeper. In other words, those of us who are responsible, on some level, for the IT within an organization need to adjust our attitudes towards technology as well.


I’d like to close out this series by highlighting a company that is taking a fascinating approach to this challenge of trying to harmonize the needs of the Enterprise with the new Person-centric paradigm.

In a recent interview with the ReadWrite site, AutoDesk CEO Carl Bass discussed Autodesk’s foray into the world of consumer-driven technology, specifically through their innovative development of over 2 dozen mobile apps. An initiative they have taken on almost entirely to gain experience in the consumer space.

Thank You

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I would love to highlight organizations that are tackling this problem head on and using consumer-oriented technology to help do some amazing things on the Enterprise level. If you are that organization…or you work for that organization, please contact me by email, connect with me on Twitter, or leave a Comment below.


Future of IT Series

Part 1: Where is this all going?

Part 2: Consumer Driven IT

Part 3: Enterprise Driven IT

Part 4: BYOD

Part 5: Game Changers