Last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES '11) in Las Vegas was a tipping point in IT history.
- Although consumer electronics’ giant Apple never exhibits at CES, Apple's presence was felt as over 100 tablets all vied for the coveted position of "also ran" to the iPad.
- Corporate IT execs roamed the aisles in search of secure wireless tablets for their executives.
- Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer did not impress anybody with his keynote speech; Microsoft is rapidly losing ground in consumer mindshare and developer appeal (apart from the Xbox).
- Mobile, wireless devices have taken over the boardroom and the automobile as well as the living room.
- Online App Stores linked to devices have become the preferred way to consume and distribute applications and content.
- The mobile Web is the world we all live in. Corporate IT execs and security execs are scrambling to accommodate to this new reality.
As one CIO put it, "The world has changed. Microsoft is toast in the enterprise." The consumerization of the enterprise comes as no real surprise to most of you. Many of you have been predicting this for at least a decade. What may be surprising to many is how quickly corporate users—and, in particular, high level executives—are demanding to consume their corporate information and applications the same way they interact with their consumer information and applications—always available, in the cloud, easy to consume on their mobile devices, highly personalized, and intermingled with their consumer life, applications, and communications. It's all well and good to distribute iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, and Androids to your mobile executives with the appropriate levels of encryption and security (or at least the ability to remotely wipe the data off a lost phone). But you can't prohibit those executives from texting with their kids, listening to Pandora, or watching a ball game on the same device.
Mobile consumer devices, behaviors, and expectations are taking over enterprise computing.