Information in covering the Cloud Computing has spoken about how Cloud Computing was leading to the consumerization of IT (see their September 8 2008 issue etc). Even after reading I was not sure what Information Week meant by consumerization of IT let alone whether this would be a successful endeavor. However, after attending Word Camp 2008 in Toronto, I got a much better idea of what consumerization of IT might mean. Let me postulate some of the key ideas:
1)Consumerization of IT means developing, adapting and modifying IT apps and services is out-distributed to the various consumers and users. Of course this is already done by major vendors in a number of ways:
a) user accessible configuration files, settings and start-up procedures;
b) templates, includes and divergent styling as well as data sources;
c) user selectable and customizable add-ons, extensions, and plugins a la Adobe Photoshop, Quark Express extensions , Java Beans, etc;
d) macros, batch processing and scripting languages allow further customization and user extension of features.
2) Publication of open APIs so that users can add:
a) more complete and speed performant features not possible with a scripting language;
b) integrate or (have integrated ) the app with other systems and programs more tightly;
c) buy third party extensions from a cotery of developers as in the case of SalesForce.com or iPhone and iPod App shops.
3) Consumerization means users contributing to the documentation and the supporting forums associated with the apps they work with and sharing them in blogs and wikis over the Web;
4)Consumerization reaches its greatest potential with Open Source software as users can contribute directly to the development, securing, and aiding in the direction and development of Open Source software. This is being done today in many forms and ways – and Word Press is a great example.
Word Press : Example of Consumerization