Consumer to Enterprise crossover - and back again

Today I am thinking about how easily consumer technologies cross the fence into the corporate world and vice versa.  Its easy to imagine people bringing their iPhones, netBooks and iPads from home into the office and start using them on the internal network.  Many companies are allowing users (or trailing with premium users) the downloading of emails to the devices outside of the internal network, and allowing access or other access to their core apps.

I find Blackberries as great at handling emails, and typing them in on a full tactile keypad is much better than using a touchscreen.  Apart from this,I find the other apps on a Blackberry as serviceable, compared to the more usable iPhone or Android apps.  Perhaps this will change with the newer full screen blackberry products, but then again, maybe they will lose the edge that they have on the email side.

The main opposition I've seen is that many IT departments are underfunded and struggle to add extra services to the ones they currently offer.  To integrate new products, power users need to try and get the devices working themselves, and then spread the news among the other top users on how to do it.  Only then will widespread access be developed.  There still remains the security barrier though - some organisations are very concerned with data loss, corporate spying and simply leaking information.  If this becomes more likely then someone will be held accountable and the IT department doesn't want to be left in the spotlight.

The iPad has a great potential to be a business device.  The user interface particularly is exiting in terms of its prospects for making business apps more user friendly and accessible.  However there are many things see as necessary before it becomes the de facto standard.  It needs to play well with existing enterprise IT infrastructure There needs to be the ability to provision and configure by the IT department, centrally.  If the iPad is able in future to integrate with corporate infrastructure, then it will become a very compelling device internally.  However lets see if the competitors move quicker!

A report is available which discusses how rogue devices are infiltrating the enterprise.

Social Media use in the Enterprise is yet another way that normal consumer technologies are infiltrating the enterprise and pretty soon you will be hard stretched to find any company without a Twitter feed, Facebook fan site, LinkedIn profile or all of the above.  How effectively they can use it is another question entirely!