We started CITEworld a year ago with a simple premise: Consumer technology is creating a radical change in how we get work done.
Since the beginning of IT, enterprise and consumer were separate realms. Big enterprise vendors sold directly to CIOs or the IT department, who pulled users -- sometimes happily, sometimes kicking and screaming -- behind them. While the first PC enthusiasts were renegades who brought their computers to work, the vast majority of us used our first personal computer at the office, or maybe at school. It was the same with Internet access, email, laptop computers, and web browsers. Even the first Internet-connected phones -- the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices -- came to the office first.
That has changed dramatically. Many of the most important technology advances over the last decade -- smartphones, tablets, social networking and collaboration, cloud-based alternatives to traditional software -- started with consumers. Or, as I prefer to call them, people. In many cases, people brought these technologies to work themselves, forcing IT departments to figure out how to work with them. When the CEO says "I want to use my iPad at work," IT follows.
In other cases, a new breed of entrepreneurs like Aaron Levie at Box, Phil Libin at Evernote, and David Sacks and Adam Pisoni at Yammer saw an opening in the user-hostile design of many enterprise products, and went on to apply lessons from the consumer world to their own alternatives. Instead of focusing on checklist features for the IT department, these new-breed enterprise companies ask "how can we make people more productive at work?" Everything from product design to sales strategy flows from there.
For the last year, CITEworld has covered this technology tidal wave from many different angles:
- In our Tales From The Cloud series, we've interviewed dozens of companies who have made big bets on consumerization in their own workplaces, from Pepsi buying 4,500 iPhones for the hourly workers who place its products in convenience and grocery stores, to Quixote Studios discovering that moving from Exchange to Google Gmail brought a whole bunch of unexpected side benefits.
- We've given context to the massive changes brought about by the shift to consumer technologies at work, as new giants like Apple and Google emerge, and old giants like Microsoft radically transform themselves in a bid to stay relevant. We've also covered some groundbreaking enterprise startups and investigated rising trends like wearable technology, the changing workplace, and game mechanics at work.
- We've gone deep on the products that real people are bringing into work -- whether IT likes it or not -- from iOS 7 to Dropbox, as well as the products that IT departments are using to get a grip, from MDM vendors like Airwatch and Good Technology to more secure collaboration products from the likes of Box, Egnyte, and Huddle.
- Weekly app reviews offer insight into inexpensive tools that will make people more productive at work -- and that IT departments are likely to see trickling in sooner or later -- as well as the ones that fail to live up to that promise.
- Our BYODev column has explored the rise of the do-it-yourself developer at work, using simple tools like IFTTT and inexpensive cloud services and platforms from Salesforce, Microsoft, and others.
- The new Smart Data blog explores how data analytics, once limited to the high priests of data science and the IT department, are finding their way to the broad range of information workers, helping us make smarter decisions.
- The annual CITE Conference and Expo in San Francisco and CITE One-Day Forum in New York have provided a real-world venue for IT professionals and businesspeople to meet and learn from speakers and panelists who have dealt with these changes, and to plan their strategies for the next waves of change to come.
We're delighted that we've reached millions of you over the last year, and we've got much more coming up. Thanks for all your support and engagement. Email me any time with questions, comments, or suggestions at "editor at citeworld dot com."