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Consumerization of IT: Buzzword or Power to the User?

Ring Central Blog


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2 min read

Guess what? There’s another buzzword running through the virtual halls of enterprise campuses, popping up in articles like those pesky moles in Whac-a-Mole.

I’m not a huge fan of buzzwords, mostly because so many of them are boring and become overused and meaningless before being replaced by a new buzzword. The point of a buzzword is to give people a handle to use when they are talking, writing or debating about a current trend on which someone is going to make money.

“Consumerization,” “CoIT” and “BYOD” are some of those terms I throw into the buzz bucket. These much-talked-about words are popping up in reference to the trend of employees bringing their personal electronic devices – especially smartphones – to use in the office instead of or in addition to their company-issued systems. So many articles appeared when I searched this term that I immediately closed my Mac, knowing this was going to be another time-suck that would keep me indoors on a beautiful Saturday (yes, people in San Francisco still know what it’s like to enjoy good weather and not be on our iPads all weekend).

Everything I read is completely focused on how businesses are impacted. But what we should focus on is the really exciting aspect of this trend:  the empowering of people, not just companies.

The great thing about this trend in general is that it gives people more control over their lives – at home or at work, in the office …everywhere.

I’d rather call what’s happening the empowerization of the people. No longer do I have to wait for an IT worker to set up my phone, help me change my settings or manage how my calls are handled. I can change my vacation message while I’m on the beach. I don’t think of the phone communications space as very sexy or cool. But when I’m empowered to make my phone system work for me at any time?  That’s sounds cool to me!

The reason is that cloud applications like ours can be accessed from all devices – your smartphone, tablet or the old laptop. This means you can easily manage your incoming calls, directing them from your office phone to your home phone to your cell phone – whatever is most convenient for you. Best of all: The IT department doesn’t have to get involved; the power is in your hands.

Now I can make calls – or avoid calls – whenever I want and wherever I am. I can tell my mom that I’d like her to make her famous lasagna for dinner when I come over, without actually having to pick up her call. Awesome! I can even auto-forward her calls to my brother without him knowing … just to make him mad. Even better.

Now that’s what I call empowered!

Nisha, who has been in the cloud business for 11 years, loves small, fast-paced companies that market with confidence and passion. Currently in product marketing, Nisha has a strong background in demand generation and direct marketing. She spent an amazing 7 years at WebEx before joining the rocket ship that is RingCentral. Living in San Francisco, she loves fog, food and really loud music.

Originally published Mar 06, 2012, updated Aug 07, 2020

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