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Consumerization of IT Is the Key to Enterprise Technology Adoption
by Daniel Newman | September 19, 2016
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Consumerization of IT—an employee-driven blend of the use of personal and business devices—encourages early adoption of technology in an organization. Combining work and personal devices just makes sense, especially if you aim for your business to be ahead of the technology curve. I believe that early adoption, sparked by IT consumerization, begins this arrangement. If you’re concerned your business isn’t ready to make the jump, start by addressing your company culture.

Does your company culture encourage bring your own device (BYOD) policies? Do you welcome employees who are enthusiastic about technology and who share new technology with co-workers? Encouraging an attitude and culture of IT consumerization has a number of benefits across your organization.

Create Happier Employees with IT Consumerization

One of the rewards for IT consumerization is overall improved happiness for your employees. More than 33 percent of workers highlight the importance of having the latest technologies in the workplace. Allowing personnel to bring their own devices means they are invested in current advances—and with those advances at their fingertips, they’ll be more open to adopting new technology moving forward.

IT consumerization is already happening. It’s common for many of us to feel totally lost when we’re without our phones, laptops, and tablets. Embrace it in the office by allowing employees to use their own devices for work and they will feel more connected. Inside and outside the office, employees are more likely to engage with hardware they’re familiar with, especially when you compensate them for data usage in relation to work. And if your workers happen to be early-adopter tech enthusiasts, your business will reap the rewards when they bring the latest mobile device to work, use it, and show it off to their colleagues (who then, of course, will want their own).

Enhance Productivity with BYOD Acceptance

Happy workers are also more productive. The bring your own device movement opens the possibilities for interactions like answering a company email while on lunch break or looking over reports and other information at home. While it blurs the lines between business and personal life, integrating the two is less like a sacrifice and more like a convenience, which means your employees will eagerly embrace it.

There are countless other benefits, from connecting your employees via mobile video conferencing or chat apps to reaching out to new and existing customers through social media. However, all these advantages are simply positive side effects—your true goal is to implement new technologies in the workplace ahead of the competition. Do this by investing in your human capital.

Invest in Human Capital through IT Consumerization

People are usually comfortable with current procedures and don’t want things to change—and that often includes adopting new technology to do their jobs faster, more efficiently, and more effectively. To facilitate change, offer new technology as something that they can use personally, too. Since people are already fluent with their own devices and apps, aim to create value on a level they’re already familiar with. This virtually guarantees they’ll stick with the tech and seamlessly adopt it into their daily lives.

For example, your employees already know what kind of apps they need. When they’re already comfortable blending their personal and work lives, they’ll have some software in mind that they want to use. These applications can enhance efficiency and productivity, and if employees found them on their own, they’re already fully adopted. Taking the time to listen to and accept suggestions from employees may reveal applications that you never considered. Use that information, and relate it to the rest of your company.

Letting your staff make their own decisions and contributions to the company’s tech culture is empowering. They’ll be proud of their efforts for finding and using software, and asking them for suggestions will get them involved and boost morale. All of this is a byproduct of early adoption—and none of it is possible without consumerization.

Word of Mouth in the Workplace

Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool for any business, and I believe it’s not limited to consumer interactions. When employees discover apps and programs they like and which work, they recommend them to coworkers. So, if software is pleasant and effective enough, you may not need to do anything at all to push adoption through the rest of the company. The more they use specific apps and devices in their lives, the more eager those workers will be to share that technology with their co-workers.

I said it before, but again: Usability and simplicity are the keys to technological adoption. The applications that require the least effort and that offer the most benefits will always be more successful. A great way to determine their accessibility is simply to try them for yourself. If you can adapt to the software within minutes, it’s a more promising choice than a program that requires extended tutorials.

The adoption of new technology brings new possibilities, but it will only be successful if your company culture is ready for it. Rely on consumerization and the intuition and enthusiasm of your employees—you may be surprised by how quickly technology adoption advances to place your company at the front of the pack.

Photo Credit: mohanrajdurairaj via Compfight cc

Daniel Newman