Great post on the confused of calcutta.
How consumerization of IT now really starts hitting the enterprise. Quite obvious, and i am sure you too use more and more external tools like Google Docs, iPhone Apps, Drop-It and other company external services to get your job done.
The article however is on something more profound that is emerging. The power of choice, and how companies need to plan to design services to be “choice-able”:
The more intriguing questions of choice come up when you look at how tasks and resources get allocated to each other within an enterprise. Firms exist at least partly because they serve to reduce transaction costs. They could borrow capital cheaply, obtain global reach and scale, attract and retain staff by the provision of pay and benefits. At least that was the theory; over the years those advantages have dwindled: enterprise credit ratings aren’t what they used to be, the internet lowers the barrier for global reach and scale, security of tenure is no longer to be assumed and benefits sometimes become millstones around legacy operations. So yes, firms are changing.
Despite all that change, some things haven’t changed. Management structures exist to define and agree objectives, to prioritise activities in the context of those objectives, to allocate scarce resources to the completion of those objectives, to monitor feedback on performance and to intervene when and where appropriate, to fix problems, overcome obstacles, resolve conflicts.
People choosing what they do, when and how they do it, where they do it, what services and tools they need to do it, what devices they use. All possible. All being done now. But not holistically across the enterprise anywhere.
For that we need to architect our services differently. Which is where outside-in design comes in, designing for the customer, designing to provide that customer with choice. At a level of abstraction, everyone’s a customer. Your actual customers. Your trading partners. Your supply chain. And your staff.