Most people who’ve been in the workforce for a decade or more remember a time when they had to carry two mobile phones with them everywhere they went — one for work and one for personal use.
It’s a clunky setup that has been replaced in many (but not all) organizations by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or choose-your-own-device (CYOD) initiatives. Not only did users have to carry two phones with them, but they also needed to make sure both were constantly charged, and were forced to manage contacts between the two devices. The model hampered productivity and inhibited adoption of enterprise IT.
Just as many organizations have found ways to streamline mobile deployments and enable users to merge their professional and personal lives on a single smartphone, the time has come to do the same for other computing devices, including desktops, laptops and wearables.
In addition to smartphones, users rely on tablets, laptops, convertible devices and wearable technologies in their personal lives. They’ve found solutions that work for them in the consumer IT space, and they’re interested in bringing these solutions into the workplace. They don’t want to carry around two tablets, two laptops or two smartwatches — any more than they want to carry around two phones.
Fortunately, new devices, operating systems and enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools are making an integrated digital experience possible. The latest versions of major operating systems — including Windows, iOS and Google Chrome — were all built with this dual-persona experience in mind.
These changes enable organizations to roll out new devices to users in a way that gives them more ownership over their experience. In the past, an organization would order a computer and have it set up, and then finally it would be shipped to the user — customized for work, but not necessarily for play. It was an awkward, off-putting experience that stripped users of their sense of control.
With today’s technology, users can unbox their new devices themselves, type in their credentials and gain immediate access both to enterprise resources and the consumer apps they love. Enterprise data is still safeguarded — for example, with tools that prevent users from copying and pasting from a work document — but the overall experience is seamless. Rather than being clunky, the technology becomes nearly invisible.
The Best of Both Worlds
When organizations adopt this single-pane-of-glass approach to user computing, they’re able to leverage the skills and interests that users bring with them from the consumer space. This, in turn, ensures that enterprise IT doesn’t sit idle. When users are given tools that are both familiar and effective, adoption ceases to be an issue.
The next step in this evolution is the advent of mobile devices that can be docked and synced to a larger display, giving users the ability to carry their entire professional and personal computing experience with them in their pockets.
The technologies needed to merge users’ work and personal lives are already here. For organizations that act early to adopt them, consumerization of IT will become a solution rather than a problem.