Consumerisation is one of the hot topics in IT. Possibly for the first time in history, people outside of the IT department are excited by IT. This is because IT has got sexy.
Tablets and smartphones are sexy, especially when compared to the beige boxes of yesteryear, which is like comparing an underwear model with, well, me.
These devices appeal to users because you can use them more or less fluently within seconds of picking them up. Who has ever bothered with the manual that comes with their iPad? Does the iPad even come with a manual? I’ve never read it. I don’t need to, nor did my five-year-old son, who is already a far more advanced user than me.
Combine their intuitive interfaces with the powerful technology that underpins them, and you can see why they’ve spread to the office.
At the dawn of the home computing era, workers generally used terminals connected to mainframes at the office, and had something small, black and plastic designed by Sir Clive Sinclair at home.
All very fun in a hobbyist sort of way, but not what you want to use to access the firm’s business intelligence suite.
Consumerisation is all about people having more powerful technology at home than in the office: laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. Everyone, that is, except me.
I have these devices all right – I’ve just been cursed by the technology fairies so that none of them ever works properly.
My Acer laptop heats to the point of thigh scorching if I should actually attempt to use it anywhere near my lap, and self-throttles its performance every 10 seconds or so – until the thermo-nuclear event is over.
My newly upgraded Windows 7 home desktop whizzes through any application for roughly 10 minutes. Then it blue-screens. So far, the reason for this has eluded two IT gurus and countless forums.
My HTC Android smartphone may well have an advanced touchscreen, but it uses the same processer as our blender (or so it appears). Angry Birds plays so slowly I can’t tell if they’re angry or just miffed.
Even my iPad goes a bit haywire when I ask it to play anything from iPlayer, but that could be the fault of my Belkin router, which is more touchy than, well, me again.
In contrast, I have a shiny desktop here in the office that has never given me cause for the slightest complaint. I call this personal trend “officerisation”.