Externalization, Consumerization and Democratization of IT

Back in September 2009 Burton Group, acquired by Gartner in January 2010, posted three predictions for the year to come. Let’s visit these predictions and see where we stand.

Burton Group specified three macro trends: externalization of IT, consumerization of IT, and democratization of IT. All of the categories are still relevant in current IT organizations, although adoption of the trends differ.

Externalization of IT

Externalization plays an important role in IT economics, prompting value assessments of what capabilities should be treated as commodity. Enterprises are refocusing their efforts on core business capabilities while examining alternatives for the non-core activities.”

Two years after the predictions we can easily see that externalization is still a hot trend. Not only is outsourcing of non-core activities still an ongoing practice in businesses across the globe, the evolution to Cloud Computing has increased the number of standardized services available on demand. Cloud computing offers great potential to compose and/or orchestrate your application landscape using commoditized IT services.

Consumerization of IT

“The growing trend of allowing information workers to choose their own equipment imposes significant burdens on the enterprise; it`s hard to secure equipment you don`t own, and it`s hard to manage and support a very diverse hardware and software base.”

I think just behind Cloud Computing in ‘hotness’, but starting to get closer are IT trens related to Consumerization of IT. These will become challenging times for ‘corporate IT’, keeping up with and controlling shadow IT within the enterprise.

Democratization of IT

“Democratization is evident in the rise and importance of social networks within and outside the modern enterprise which changes the “ways of work” and challenges traditional organization structures and schema.”

And yes, Social Media is here to stay as well, though I must say that I have not seen any organization facilitate the coexistence of hierarchical and democratic styles of communication and choice-making. Even more so, I see that many, of not all, organizations are still struggling with their ‘online identity’.

Democratization of IT is a long term trend that will gradually change organization out there in how communication and decision-making.

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