The rise of digital has transformed the way businesses of all sizes operate in the twenty-first century. With innovations always occurring in the technological space, we are constantly being introduced to new products and services to help make the way we work quicker, easier and more efficient.

When purchasing a new software or application for use in your business, there are many factors to address. An increased output of work, being able to carry out tasks more quickly, improved flexibility and cost efficiency are just some of the things IT managers must consider before investing in new technology.

But what if there was a way to do all of this, while reducing your costs as a company? IT consumerism has already helped many businesses to improve efficiency, and an increasing number of IT managers are starting to realise the potential benefits of the trend.

What is IT consumerism?

Over the past few decades, consumerisation has made a significant difference to the way many industries operate. Uber has transformed the way we travel, Netflix has changed how we watch TV, and services like Spotify and Apple Music have transformed the way we listen to music.

When it comes to running a business, IT consumerism marks the shift in personal technology that we have seen in recent years, and how this is reflected in the workplace. With new and improved technology becoming increasingly central to our everyday lives, employees are now expecting a certain level of quality when it comes to the technology they are required to use at work, too.

Consumerisation has led to more businesses updating their IT services, introducing things like cloud-based software for managing business finances as well as administration and automation systems. Investing in consumer-friendly gadgets, like mobiles, tablets and laptops has become more commonplace within businesses, too.

Blending the use of using technology devices and applications for both personal and business purposes is therefore the essence of IT consumerism. The term ‘IT consumerism’ came about back in 2005, when technology research company Gartner suggested that consumerisation would be the most significant trend to affect IT across the next 10 years.

Following the dotcom collapse, IT departments in the early 2000s found themselves with tighter budgets, and in turn a reduced focus on investing in new technologies. For that reason, IT vendors switched their focus to the potentially much bigger consumer IT markets.

Since then, the way technology has entered the marketplace has changed. Previously, as with the desktop computer, new IT flowed from enterprise to consumer. But now, the consumer market is often introduced to new devices and software before it enters a business.

Consequently, businesses today face a much higher demand when it comes to the expected standard of IT products and services within the firm.

How can my business use IT consumerism to its advantage?

To overcome the employee demand for high quality, familiar technology, many companies are investing in consumer technology, as well as allowing people to use their personal devices for work purposes. So why might your business choose to embrace IT consumerism?

Top technology means top quality work

By investing in popular devices and software, or even enabling employees to use their own chosen high-quality devices, applications and software in the workplace, it is likely that the work they’ll be able to produce will be of a better standard.

Using personal devices means less investment in IT

If staff prefer to use their existing devices for work, this could save your business a lot of money when it comes to IT investment. Rather than investing in new computers, money can be used to purchase additional technologies to support employees to do their job better and help the business run more smoothly.

Increased comfort means happier employees

People always feel more comfortable when they are in a familiar environment, and this is applicable to familiar gadgets too. Knowing exactly how their device, application or software works will make your employees feel more confident when completing tasks, again helping them to produce work which is of a higher quality.

More flexibility means a better workforce

By empowering your workforce to use portable technology, your business can operate more flexibly than before. Bring your own device (BOYD) schemes mean that employees can work from anywhere, at any time, improving communication between a business and its staff while enabling people to work flexibly. This can be a really attractive perk for prospective staff, supporting your recruitment department too.

Better technology means a more dynamic, competitive business

Being forward-thinking when it comes to new technology, software and applications means your business will be able to keep up in the progressively digital world. Encourage your staff when it comes to using new technology in the workplace, as this could be the device or software the whole business will be using in years to come!

How can my business monitor IT which is used for both personal and business purposes?

The blending of personal and business technology has caused concern within many corporate IT departments. Traditionally, businesses have had control over the devices, software and applications which staff use, but an IT consumerism approach gives employees a lot more autonomy when working digitally.

Consequently, IT departments must find ways to manage technology and the way it is used in the working environment. If handling data and information, which most businesses do, about customers, clients, employees or anything else, you’ll need to make sure that a high level of security is being adhered to across all employee devices.

Virtual Cabinet provides a particularly effective solution when it comes to IT consumerism. Accessible from anywhere, at any time, the intelligent document management software and communication portal comes with AES-256 bit encryption and multi-layered security to ensure all your data is protected.

Documents are held in an environment that only the intended recipient can access, meaning you can keep work all files and communications safe on any device. Sending documents via the Virtual Cabinet portal is significantly more secure than email, too.

Many businesses still have a long way to go when it comes to adapting to IT consumerism in the workplace, and a lot more technology is needed to ensure staff can work comfortably and efficiently while IT managers maintain a high level of management and security over company systems. With an array of business software on offer, it is also crucial that all the digital platforms used are able to speak to one another and work together, too.

But with the right technology, IT consumerism can be a positive move for any business when it comes to producing higher quality work more efficiently, from anywhere, at any time.

Talk to Virtual Cabinet today to discover how our software can digitally transform your business.