By Charlie Hess
I recently had the pleasure of attending a professional development session about the consumerisation of tech and how it’s changing the world.
Now I used to think consumerisation was all about money, about capitalism driving us to consume more and more. But really, it is about re-orientating product and service design to focus on us, the individual end users, and that is something I can get behind!
Personal devices, online tools, applications and social media have all found their way into our workplaces, and there has never been more demand for technologies and ways of working that are user-friendly, cost-effective (free even!) and easily accessible.
This is great news for both start-ups entering the market and existing players.
Imagine a small business that has only ever reached potential new customers with a boring old poster mocked up in PowerPoint and designed by John from Accounting.
Enter Canva, an online creative tool that empowers John to be his own graphic designer. John uses Canva to create better looking posters – that generate more sales leads – which impresses the boss, who then decides to invest in professional graphic design for future collateral.
While basic in concept, this is a classic example of a business that perhaps would not have otherwise considered using professional graphic design, unlocking this new possibility through first utilising a free online tool.
But aside from the obvious benefits that consumerisation of tech provides to business, the positive impact it can have on employees is perhaps even more compelling.
At Bunch, we love consumerisation because it’s engaging. Allowing employees the freedom to choose what devices, technologies and applications they feel best help them to do their jobs not only positively impacts their experience at work, but also provides accountability and ownership of tasks.
Giving employees the power to problem solve in their own ways using their preferred technologies is a very powerful thing, and often leads to increased productivity and innovation.
So, without any further ado, here are my top three tips for how businesses can embrace consumerisation:
- Ask your employees what tools they would like to use to help them work better, and provide the support needed to implement them.
- Create a flexible IT environment. As a start, having a ‘bring your own device’ policy can encourage employees to work flexibly and collaboratively for years to come, while providing a valuable channel of communication for your internal content.
- Create mobile and consumer-style experiences for your employees, aiming to align the employee experience with the customer experience. Encourage employees to use the tools that your customers are using.
Get on board! From workflow scheduling tools to online messaging applications, you’ll never know when the next thing could revolutionalise your workforce until you start giving them a try.
What’s the next piece of technology that could make your job easier? What’s the next creation that could change the way you work? Add your comment below!