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Consumerization Driving Major Collaboration Changes in the Enterprise

Joshua Hoffman
April 22, 2015

Consumerization in the enterprise isn't just about people using personal devices, apps and services in place of traditional IT tools. This consumerization of IT movement is a real problem for the back office, but the process disruption that happens in the front office could be even more disruptive. Consumerization changes the way people work, and business process management technologies are evolving to help organizations respond effectively.

"You can stimulate consumerization without sacrificing control and governance."

Understanding the disruption of consumerization

A recent CMSWire report compared consumerization to an episode of Star Trek in which an alien called aTribble was brought on the Enterprise only to rapidly reproduce, taking a seemingly harmless creature and turning it into a major problem. In the same way, employees that want to collaborate efficiently will often choose a chat or social tool that use in their personal life and start using it at work. It seems harmless at first, but then the problem expands.

Once one user in a department finds success using a tool, other workers start to notice. Before long, the manager of that department has moved the team's collaboration over to that platform and the traditional IT tools like Sharepoint are left in the dark, the report explained. Before long, the different departments in your organization are using distinct collaboration tools and trying to have process cross different operational boundaries is a nightmare not only because everybody is using something different, but because the IT teams that would normally document and connect all of these disparate systems are not involved.

You want to empower users to collaborate conveniently and efficiently, but you also don't want to turn your organization into the Wild West. This is where BPM tools come into play.

You don't have to sacrifice control to embrace consumerization.You don't have to sacrifice control to embrace consumerization.

Low-code functionality essential in embracing consumerization

It is possible to stimulate consumerization without sacrificing control and governance. BPM solutions are the catalyst for this balancing act. Modern BPM software platforms are letting you use the BPM system for code-free application customization, letting you build various process management and collaboration features into various apps and services without needing significant tech expertise. This means that when a manager wants to stimulate collaboration, he or she doesn't need to go find a specialized app, they can just add the functionality into the services employees are already using. Suddenly, you can embrace consumerization without having to deploy apps and services that IT doesn't know about. The result is a controlled, but flexible operational environment.