Consumerization of small business IT

Consumerization of small business IT

Different decisions needed than for enterprises.

The Altiris panel seemed to agree on the idea that consumer tools will migrate into corporations no matter what, so the companies better get ready. As Henderson reminded the audience, most corporate IT guys swore they'd never let insecure wireless networks in the building, or that risky Voice over Internet phone technology on their network. Today, of course, some big companies run wireless phone handsets across Wi-Fi networks to Voice over Internet phone servers, so things do change. Big companies have to get ready for that change.

Small companies need to take one step back and decide in which direction they want to go when they change. Big companies with bigger budgets can try four approaches and see what works, while small companies must hit the target the first time. So you need to give some thought to how consumer technology can help your business.

Some tools, like consumer smart phones, put enterprise power in small biz hands for less money. The push to put "media servers" in fancy homes makes disk systems available for less money, a great small business benefit. YouTube makes it easy for small companies to stream video over the Internet for free, and your customers can link to your videos from your Facebook page.

Consumer tools may give enterprises headaches as they struggle to integrate them securely into corporate networks, but they bring great advantages to small businesses. So every time you buy technology from a consumer outlet, laugh and figure out other ways to outsmart those huge lumbering enterprises.

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