Many emerging technology and cloud professionals talk about the coming post-pc era, a time when PCs are no longer used within an enterprise. Channel Pro recently did a really good piece which referenced a survey of CIOs where 40% of them believed that the buying of desktops will become obsolete in the next 5 years.
While its undeniable that the enterprise computing landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade with the introduction of capable smartphones and tablet computers the desktop computer is still very much relevant. Like the (still popular) mainframe, many organizations have desktop applications which are so intrinsic to business that they simply can’t function without them.
What people generally overlook is an interim period termed Enterprise Consumerization whereby organizations must manage environments that consist of standard desktop computing as well as consumer-type devices. Users are increasingly able to acquire technology equal or sometimes superior to that which their employer can afford to provide and as such are beginning to make additional demands. This period can’t simply be ignored by organizations if they wish to get an early handle on the future post-pc era.
There are a number of different challenges facing organizations who are looking to embrace enterprise consumerization and these range from handling a BYOD environment to compliance and regulation. Licensing laws around software and data can be extraordinary complex especially in environments such as legal and healthcare and in what could actually end up being a technology wild-west CIOs are right to be concerned.
Organizations should consider the enterprise consumerization phase the pre-season of the post-pc era where they should make decisions as to which technology is good and which should definitely be cut. Regardless of user demands, not all technology belongs within an enterprise environment. With the post-pc era still near a decade away organizations can’t simply ignore it like the coming Windows XP switch-off but instead need to evolve and adapt and as we enter the enterprise consumerization phase, now is the time to do it.