I was the training director around here maybe 10 years ago, and I still get catalogs from companies pitching their seminars. But something in a slick Gartner Symposium promotional piece that landed in my inbox today caught my attention. One of the seminars listen under "What’s hot?" is titled "The Consumerization of IT." It says, in part:
Falling prices and wider distribution have made IT accessible and affordable for consumers. Via the Internet, both software and content are delivered with ease. This has destabilized the balance between enterprises, producers and consumers. Obsolete is the long-held assumption by enterprise IT of technology scarcity and uniqueness. The power of the individual–as customer, employee, and citizen–is increasing fast. So is the power of virtual communities.
The folks in traditional IT are feeling the hot breath of the empowered "consumer" in much the same way as professionals in mainstream media are. These professions, which used to be closed union shops that exercised great control over their entire domain, are now playing more of a background, infrastructure role. That’s not trivial, but it’s a stark contrast to 10 years ago when anything involving computers had IT running the show. Now–as I see it–the technology is becoming so ubiquitous that the creativity and innovation is coming from ordinary users. You can get a lot done these days without ever jumping through the permission hoops of traditional IT shops. That’s a good thing.