How Do the Experts Define Consumerization?

At the 2013 Intel Developer Forum, four industry-leading CTOs sat down for a candid discussion of the consumerization of IT. The panel was moderated by Yasser Rasheed, CTO & Director of Architecture, Business Client Platforms Division for Intel Corporation. Each CTO shared his perspective of consumerization’s role in his own organization, as well as the ways consumerization is expected to impact enterprise IT in general.


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We asked the experts:

“How do you define

consumerization?”




Michael Fey, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Corporate Products & Chief Technology Officer, McAfee

“When I think about consumerization, especially with a security view, it really is driven a lot by the fact that users have more compute power at their disposal as an individual than they often have at work. They have more flexibility and often more creativity available to them in that environment. When we think about it from a security perspective, consumerization goes hand-in-hand with shadow IT, to where users are now outsourcing a tremendous part of the traditional IT assets to their own daily lives. From a security perspective, all that power and creativity opens up a ton of power and creativity for the attackers as well. A lot of the advance attacks we deal with today at corporations are delivered outside of the corporation with no intent of ever penetrating the corporation. So we have to look at the problem, or challenge, and opportunity a little differently than most corporations.”

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Dave Buchholz, Principal Engineer and Director of Consumerization for Intel's Information Technology Group

“For us it really boils down to a merging of the work and life balance - how things both on the work side and the personal side now start to influence each other. And that could be software, that could be usage models, it could be hardware – but it’s really a demand from the end-users to be able to use what’s most comfortable for them to get the experience that they ultimately want out of a piece of technology.”

Rich Stern, Corporate Vice President, Global Technology Infrastructure Executive & Workplace Enablement Services Global Domain Lead, Avanade

“When I think about consumerization of IT – it’s really about IT without boundaries. In the old days, you know, you had the mainframes and everyone went the same place – or a place to work, and really with the digitalization of everything going on – people are getting work done wherever they want to get that work done. And they’re really expecting a very similar experience from an end-user point of view in what they have at home and what they have at work. And that is really creating some challenges, I think, for the traditional IT departments who are currently not embracing that.

And if you look at just the devices and the announcements that were made the last couple of days here, where you’re really blending the types of devices, from being able to do your work and being able to do your play– at will, at any time you want to do it – it’s really a testament to how easy things are being blended between work and play.”

IMG_9946.jpgAhmed Sallam, VP of Product Strategy & CTO of Client Virtualization, Citrix Systems

“One way to define consumerization of IT is basically the notion of democratization of IT. Democracy is about free choice, so by applying that notion of free choice to the end-users so that users can have as many devices as they wish and also they can entertain different types of experiences across those devices. From the IT perspective, IT also has an equal level of freedom in the sense that the types of services that they manage and deliver and no longer bound to the boundaries of the enterprise itself. For instance, you have lots of cloud-based services today, you have more innovation of the hardware site across different devices in that facilitates the management and different types of operations in the form of IT. Again it’s about the freedom of choice, and the democratization of IT in general.”


Do you agree with these CTOs’ perspectives? What does Consumerization of IT mean to you? Let us know in the comments below.