While checking the status of my fantasy football team Sunday, I was treated to a Verizon FiOS ad on the NFL's website. The ad, which Verizon has titled The Moment You Get It, features a number of people praising the performance that FiOS offers.
The first line of the ad got stuck in my head -- probably because I heard it a few times throughout the course of the day.
I got it when my Internet here was faster than in my office.
While the rest of the ad focused on typical consumer uses -- gaming, HDTV picture quality, and so on -- this line really stuck out to me because it's a perfect pitch for consumerization in the workplace. A logical extension of that thought might be something like the following.
- That's when I began to think that I could be more productive while working at home than in my office.
That's when I realized I could hire team members whether they live across town from my office or clear across the country.
- That's when it occurred to me that the tools I use to manage our life at home could work just as well for managing my daily workload.
There are any number of follow-ups to that thought, but they don't all need to be described. The basic premise in that opening line is that the woman speaking it has discovered that the personal technology she has available to her is superior to what her company and its IT staff are able to deliver.
That's a powerful realization, and it is the first realization that an individual worker, executive, workgroup, or company makes when it comes to adopting any consumerization trend -- be it cloud services, BYOD (bring your own device), mobile apps, or social collaboration. It's the first step in the process that many knowledge workers go through in learning that they can now do certain technical tasks better than their IT department, and that they can essentially become their own personal IT resource for many of their needs.
It's easy to overlook the importance of this short line in a 31 second ad -- particularly if your workplace has embraced one or more of the consumerization trends or you work in IT. There are, after all, millions of people that have embraced consumer-oriented technology as a way to work more efficiently, effectively, and with greater job satisfaction.
But there are also millions of people that haven't had that moment of realization -- not yet anyway. In many ways this line subtly encourages people to consider the implication that they can subscribe to or purchase better Internet connectivity -- and by extension other forms of technology, including devices with built-in LTE- - than their employer can provide. The line goes right up to the edge of stating that thought outright.
Will everyone who sees this ad immediately go into work the next day and request, demand, or simply start using their preferred technologies? No, but the ad certainly raises the idea that they could. That might get them thinking about the possibility.
The ad also shows that the idea of consumerization of technology in the workplace is beginning to take root in the American and global psyche. It shows that most employees can determine how well their workplace infrastructure and solutions stack up against alternative solutions -- personal and professional.
Perhaps that is bigger proof than any study that consumerization has reached the mainstream and that it is here to stay.