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Bizumers Rise Up! The Driving Force in the Consumerization of IT

By April 11, 2012Article

Business users are sick and tired and they are not going to take it anymore. In our view, that is the unfortunate reality for most people when it comes to their technology experience at work. We believe consumer technology is pretty amazing; but when people get to the office they find outdated, difficult to use, unintuitive and desktop-centric technology. However, there is major change coming to the workplace as the principles behind consumer technology are beginning to infiltrate corporate IT.
Across the globe, we see a new class of business users rising up and pushing for consumer-grade technology at work. We call this business technology consumer a “bizumer.” Bizumers are the driving force behind the consumerization of the information technology movement. With the help of some forward-thinking vendors, we believe the old staid rules are crumbling and a new wave of productivity is reshaping the business technology landscape.
We think this holistic change in business technology is creating a massive shift in how technology is built, implemented, consumed and, of course, sold. In our view, this will have a material impact on vendor revenue growth, profit and market share across all segments of business technology.
We believe a new wave of disruptive upstarts will break new ground and gain share, while existing vendors will need to pivot both their product and business models.
The consumerization of IT phenomenon is not just driven by technology. We think the information technology change mirrors the evolution of both business and society over the past 30 years. Society has become more open, integrated and transparent, and business has followed a similar path.
The business world today is less hierarchical — more distributed, of course global – and now is becoming social. Employees working remotely, accessing corporate data from personal devices, and using cloud services is the reality. This trend toward consumerization is only going to exacerbate as the composition of the work force absorbs the coming influx of millennials.
As a result, this had led to the rise of the “shadow IT” department and decentralized line of business purchasing. In many instances, we believe IT has lost control. Vendors are now going around IT and directly targeting both users and business units. Gartner even predicts that by 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Going “shadow” creates a number of governance, risk, and compliance implications for both IT and the corporation. We think there is a huge business opportunity for companies to drive productivity, save money, stay secure and, of course, partner with the CIO.
The rise of bizumers and consumerized IT has been building over the past decade with the growth in cloud computing, social and, of course, rapid advancements in mobile technology.
Sure, there have been some amazing breakthroughs in virtualization, point SaaS applications, open source and new data structures; but for the most part, the average worker’s productivity is hindered, not enabled, by corporate IT, in our view.
Bizumer technology looks very different than today’s current enterprise offerings. We see 10 major principles that differentiate this mega shift:
• Cloud based
• Mobile first
• Consumer-grade UX
• Atomized
• Action/context aware
• Gamification
• Crowdsourced
• Social mechanics
• Big-Data savvy
• IT is part of the product
It is not solely the IT organization’s fault, in our view, as most of the big enterprise vendors have not been obsessively focused on bringing new apps, tools and use cases to the individual worker.
Incumbent tech vendors must rewrite and natively embrace these principles. Across many organizations there is a growing number of cloud services (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS), acceptance of consumer devices for work usage, game mechanics in corporate and military training and re-imagined business apps.
Our view is that we are on the cusp of major breakthroughs that will reshape the way work gets done. We also see a wave of emerging disruptors crashing the enterprise technology party. These firms build, market, sell, and deliver their solutions much more like their consumer Internet brethren. The world has changed.
Jason Maynard is a managing director and senior technology analyst in the Equity Research department at Wells Fargo Securities. He covers the software and Internet sectors. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he was with Credit Suisse, where for the majority of his tenure, he was the senior analyst directing the firm’s software research. Bloomberg named Jason its Top Technology Analyst in 2006. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he was global software coordinator and senior software analyst for Merrill Lynch. He co-founded Verix Software, a Java CRM provider, acquired by Inference in 1999. He is a member of Information Week’s editorial advisory board and provided seed financing for several technology companies including Siperian (acquired by INFA). Contact him at