Consumer Tech Moves to the Enterprise
Opinion: Innovative management helped enterprises take advantage of emerging technologies.To paraphrase a well-known bumper sticker, stuff happens. In a year lacking in any singular event, we have to look under the covers to find what really happened in 2006. Sure, new products rolled off the assembly lines, notably Apple Computers MacBook Pro and Lenovos ThinkPad X60 Tabletboth cited as products of the year by eWEEK Labs. Software and Web services developers kept extending the definition of Web 2.0. Microsoft released Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7 and many more products, while Linux distributions and Firefox continued to find more places in the enterprise. But what really "happened"? Despite all the new products, Id have to say that 2006 was the year that technology snuck up on CIOs and IT managers. Put another way, product innovation did not find users, but users found new ways to take advantage of technology in a business climate that required resourceful and innovative management. It kind of reminds me of what Jeff Goldblum said in the movie "Jurassic Park": Lifeor, in this case, wikis, blogs and podcastsfinds a way.
The use of these so-called consumer technologies sprouted up all over corporate America. The good news is that instead of fighting the spread of unsanctioned software and services in the enterprise, IT managers took advantage of it and, in doing so, empowered line-of-business workers and all those crucial contributors on the extremities of the org chart. These technologies as well as other types of social networking tools also will pay dividends as the next generation of employees starts walking through the doors of your companies.