Consumers Influence Enterprise-Business
Many of us would have heard and are (anecdotally) aware of how Enterprises are accommodating employees with their “consumer” behavior. Several reports indicate how the Apple iPad and iPhone have changed, slowly and steadily, IT departments. This is the first step towards how Enterprise Products will be influenced by Consumer Products. Alan Cohen (@ascohen) is a VP at Cisco, and he posted his 5 Technology Predictions for 2011, I found the following most interesting:
Prediction 4: Consumer Experience for Business – For decades, technology migrated from the office to the home: video recorders, computers, printers, Internet access, email and many other commonplace fruits of applied science started in the working world and eventually followed us through the front door on the return commute. Today, mobile and web-based applications, and simple, easy-to-use technologies like Cisco’s own Flip video camcorder are changing our expectations of how IT works. Shoppers walk into stores with more powerful devices and apps than the retail associates trying to help them. Expect business users to demand migration of consumer experiences to the workplace.
Coming from Cisco’s VP of Enterprise products – this is worth noting for a minute. And to connect the dots, a blog post from another VP of Security Technology Products at Cisco, Tom Gillis, talks about how consumer products are influencing the design of security products. He makes the observation:
That’s true. Consumer hits like the iPhone and iPad have sparked a user interface revolution and placed more emphasis than ever on usability. Now, the trend—which I see as downright “Jobsonian”—is working its way through the entire technology industry. It’s a dramatic shift in prioritizing how we present information over how we process information.
And he goes on to say how Cisco is taking this shift into account:
For the next generation of security products, usability will come to the forefront. Next-gen security devices need to understand the context of a situation—the “who, what, where, when and how” of security. This begs for a usability-driven design. Next-gen security solutions need to present business-relevant information to the user (or administrator) in an intuitive fashion. I think this trend extends well beyond security. More and more tech products are being driven by usability.
Bottom-line, the Consumer revolution is influencing and almost mandating how products are designed for the Enterprise.