IT consumerization or bring your own device

By Priya Chetty on December 24, 2014

Information technology (IT) consumerization, also known as “ bring your own device” phenomenon has been explored by Gartner (2012).  Since the past few years, there has been a substantial change in IT which will possibly continue for the predictable future. This trend of significant change in the dependence on information technology (IT) is known as consumerization. As the use of smart devices is increasing day by day and the typical employee finds it easy to make use of mobile instead of a centralized IT infrastructure, the trend of Consumerization of IT will likely to increase in future. Apart from smart devices, this trend revolves around the association among IT and its consumer population.

In the previous years, organizations used to rule the technological devices and gadgets as the consumer technologies were not available. As said by  (Moschella, 2004), this pattern was seen in various technologies such as fax machine which was developed as the first costly business equipment. However, the situation is totally reversed today as the technological development is now based on consumer market.

Nowadays, consumers are in habit of using latest technologies and solutions, which are not available in the IT department of their organizations.  Thus, they prefer to make use of their own personal devices for professional use (Moschella, 2004).

When it comes to making informed decisions, organizations in order to avoid any consequences are now turning out to be more flexible and appear to be making use of consumer oriented applications. According to (Kvanzant, 2009) (Blount, 2011), this kind of consumer like change will show the major influence on organizations. As an example, the IT consumerization effects can be seen in mobile applications, social media and less costly video conferencing tools.

IT consumerization challenges

As said by Harris (2012), IT consumerization involves various benefits such as less expensive, easily usable, more flexible and can be utilized in creative ways. The trend of IT Consumerization might prove to be an asset for employees but it involves a huge security risk for the organization. This is a matter of concern for IT management of an organization. Thus, the use of consumer IT in official work gives rise to various issues such as information, security, performance, consistency, accuracy, accessibility and connectivity (Harris, 2012).

Specifically, these issues can be managed if organizations efficiently manage access to their critical systems from the sanctioned endpoints of information technology as well as from the new consumer technologies.

Different viewpoints of IT consumerization

As stated by Harris (2012), the phenomenon of  IT Consumerization or “ bring your own device ”  can be described by employee viewpoint and IT division viewpoint. According to employee viewpoint, an employee is accustomed with the tools and applications that they use in their personal life. Thus, IT consumerization proves to be beneficial when applied in their workplace.  According to IT department viewpoint, the use of IT consumerization inside the business firewall may appear as a security threat as the devices used in the workplace may not be included in the authorized list of an organization.

Harris (2012) specifies that apart from employees making use of IT consumerization at work, the IT division also qualifies in making consumer-oriented technologies part of their department.

In order to achieve the maximum productivity the employees are progressively making use of IT consumerization. This helps them to stay in their comfort zone and the organization’s role is to assure that IT manager performs at his best to provide security in every.

Effect of consumerization applications on IT  infrastructure

According to Gartner (2012), some applications that are depicted in the present information technology development are cloud, social network apps and mobile applications.

The effect of these applications on IT infrastructure is discussed below.

Social network applications

Various social network and social media applications which are used to share information include LinkedIn, Facebook, GoogleDocs, Wikipedia, etc. Social media can be used to locate new business related opportunities. Various social media applications can be used in personal life and in businesses too. As said by Kaplan (2010), Facebook and LinkedIn can be used in order to perform personal as well as professional networking, GoogleDocs can be used for document sharing and applications like twitter and BlogSpot can be used for discussion and information sharing.

All these social media applications are being used in organizations also. Organizations also make use of this platform for sales and marketing of their products. However, there is a huge risk of sharing official information on the social media or internet (Kaplan, 2010).


Mobile devices have a major role in increasing employee productivity and supporting more effective working practices. As stated by MacCormick (2012), the presence of mobiles enable the organization to expect the availability of an employee whenever required. According to Stieglitz (2012), mobile phones containing confidential information of an organization are susceptible for a security viewpoint and thus require high level security system in order to access data.

Cloud computing

It refers to internet based software and services which are accessible from any computer system or mobile. The use of cloud based services offers a greater proficiency for IT processes.

As said by Zhang (2010), the use of cloud computing in an organization provides scalability, flexibility and is easily usable. Various businesses are relying on these applications in order to perform their task.

Organizational and technological impact

IT Consumerization has brought a major change in the association between organization and IT. With its increasing flexibility, the relationship between IT and business managers can be improved which can thus lead to a greater partnership. The issue of security and the consumerization applied by users is still there. As the use of IT consumerization brings the issue of security, the process of maintaining security will turn out to be more critical in future.


  • Blount, S. (2011). the consumerization of IT: security challenges of the new world order. Security Management.
  • Gartner. (2012). Social and the Nexus of Forces:Supporting People’s Interactions.
  • Harris, J. (2012). IT Consumerization: When Gadgets Turn Into Enterprise IT Tools. MIS Quarterly Executive, 11.
  • Kaplan. (2010). Users of the World, Unite The Challenges and Opportunities of Socia Media. Business Horizons, 53.
  • Kvanzant. (2009). Consumerization of IT.
  • MacCormick. (2012). Managing Mobile Technology:The Shift from Mobility to Connectivity. MIS Quarterly Executive, 15.
  • Moschella. (2004). The “Consumerization” of Information Technology.
  • Stieglitz. (2012). Increasing Organizational Performance by Transforming into a Mobile Enterprise. MIS Quarterly Executive, 11.
  • Zhang. (2010). Cloud Computing: State of the Art and Research Challenges. Journal of Internet Service Applications, 1(1).

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).