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Slave Tools and the Consumerization of IT

There is much wonderment in the IT industry about the “consumerization of IT”, by which the pundits mean “invasion of the enterprise IT area by applications, devices, and approaches taken from consumer IT”.  A cavalcade of “cool” and “fun” technology is storming the enterprise.

It’s not hard to understand the dynamic.  In the pre-Civil War South, slaves were given only heavy, rude tools to work with, even slaves whose work was in factories and craft ateliers.  The reason?  Slaves would break any tools they could, as a form of rebellion and a way to avoid yet another day of slavery.  Only the heaviest and most break-proof of tools could survive, even if they weren’t very good tools.

It’s the same way with the enterprise IT of years past: rude, clunky software, heavy ponderous devices, ugly screen after ugly screen.  It’s as if the management of the modern enterprise were afraid that the employees would break the software if they gave them anything decent.

Well, the decent stuff is flooding in everywhere now.  And that’s why employees like consumer IT.


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