When evaluating the adoption of mobile enterprise applications, it's important to understand the overall trends driving the adoption of the iPad within the enterprise. As I worked on the book "iPad in the Enterprise: Developing and Deploying Business Applications," I spoke to, interviewed, and received feedback from dozens of technology authors, industry analysts, enterprise software executives, Fortune 1000 CIOs, and other visionaries of enterprise IT. I felt that the best way to explore this concept was to hear from those industry leaders directly.
Although the iPad is an extremely polarizing topic on its own, the concept of the "consumerization of IT" is even more controversial. I spoke to nearly as many people who were unwilling to go on the record as to those who allowed me to quote them in the book.
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The term "consumerization" first gained popularity in 2001 when it was used by Douglas Neal and John Taylor as a description for how information technology innovation was emerging in consumer-based technology, with the expectation it would eventually migrate into the enterprise.
A sea change in the IT/user relationship
At first glance, the idea of consumerization might appear unlikely to have a big impact on the IT industry landscape and power structure of enterprise IT. Does consumerization really challenge the status quo of enterprise IT? Back in 2005, Gartner suggested it would.
That year, Gartner released a report saying, "The growing practice of introducing new technologies into consumer markets prior to industrial markets will be the most significant trend affecting information technology during the next 10 years."
In late 2010, Stephen Prentice, a Gartner fellow and vice president, wrote a Gartner CEO advisory titled "Seize the iPad Opportunity Now." But as early as 2005, he had written: "As perceptive CIOs seek to transform their rigid, legacy ridden infrastructures into agile, efficient, service-driven delivery mechanisms, they must adopt a pragmatic approach to managing the risks of consumer IT while embracing the benefits. Otherwise, the CIOs risk being sidelined as the 'enemy' by their constituencies."