Every year there are a few trends with catchy names that make the rounds of the press and analyst circuit. Some are truly important and groundbreaking, others are just passing fads and only time will tell which are of real value. One trend that has bubbled to the top is “consumerization of IT.” Is this a real trend? Yes. But what does it mean?

To most, the consumerization of IT is all about how employees (consumers) are bypassing IT and using their own point solutions (often on personal accounts or personal laptops/phones/tablets) to get their job done. Employees might believe they are doing a good thing by doing their individual jobs better, but in reality, the good of the individual is coming at the cost of the greater good. It is a huge problem we need to fix, and in order to do that we need to address why employees are taking matters into their own hands to begin with.

There are fundamentally two issues at work here. First, users have specific needs that are not being met with their current tool sets and so are using whatever tool they can find to get the job done. They don’t typically pay attention to the larger ramifications of its use, or even how it might interwork with their other tools. They have a problem, they find a solution, end of story. It may fix things in the short term, but longer term IT, security and administration issues have not been thought through.

Second, IT’s departmental budgets are being cut and they are being asked to do more with less. With only two arms and ten fingers, they are going to have to move to the cloud, whether they like it or not. IT must get users under control, and cloud services, especially those designed with IT and the organization (as opposed to just the end user) in mind will need to be at the top of their lists.

So why is this important? Because 2012 will be the year of “cloud commuting”. As organizations disperse, and telecommuting becomes a permanent reality in companies from small to large, creating an environment where employees always feel like they’re working from headquarters is critical to organizational success. Consumerization of IT must be controlled, and cloud and hybrid cloud solutions are going to be the only way to cut costs, control the proliferation of good for the individual/bad for the company point solutions, and ensure survival in these hard economic times.

To hear more of why 2012 will be the year of cloud commuting, come along to my session at CloudBeat 2011.

Vineet Jain is CEO and co-founder of Egnyte. Prior to Egnyte, Vineet founded and successfully built Valdero, a supply chain software solution provider, funded by KPCB, MDV and Trinity Ventures. He has held a rich variety of senior operational positions at companies like KPMG, Bechtel etc. in the past. He has 20 years of experience in building capital-efficient and nimble organizations.

CloudBeat 2011 takes place Nov 30 – Dec 1 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, CA. Unlike any other cloud event, we’ll be focusing on 12 case studies where we’ll dissect the most disruptive instances of enterprise adoption of the cloud. Speakers include Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO of; Amit Singh, VP of Enterprise at Google; Adrian Cockcroft, Director of Cloud Architecture at Netflix; Byron Sebastian, Senior VP of Platforms at Salesforce; Lew Tucker, VP & CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, Vineet Jain, CEO and co-founder of Egnyte and many more. Join 500 executives for two days packed with actionable lessons and networking opportunities as we define the key processes and architectures that companies must put in place in order to survive and prosper. Register here. Spaces are very limited!


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