Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: BYOD and the Consumerization of IT

BYOD circa 2018 will challenge enterprise IT

No tech vendor will be safe from consumerization, according to Gartner. Companies will have to prepare for multiple vendors and a possible PC market crash.

ORLANDO, FL — Client computing in 2018 is likely to be a great place for users as wireless devices that are proactive, contextual and real-time rule the enterprise. The catch: The IT department may be irrelevant unless it future proofs.

In a presentation by Gartner analysts Leslie Fiering and Stephen Kleynhans, the client computing world in 2018 is heavy on bring your own device and bring your own application. The average personal cloud will sync with at least six different devices.

And all enterprises and CIOs have to do is manage it all. Projecting client computing five years out is fun, but possibly quite inaccurate. One thing is clear: Gartner analysts believe that there could be a PC market crash ahead and that no tech vendor is really safe. The only game plan is to prepare for multiple devices and multiple vendors.

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According to Gartner, 2018 will feature:

  • Bring your own hardware and software;
  • Increasingly unstable vendors;
  • Multiple devices per user;
  • Everything mobile;
  • The need to qualify more than one hardware vendor;
  • A focus on service and support over hardware;
  • Expect diversity in everything tech.

CIOs are going to have to find desktop virtualization tools to extend legacy software and use mobile management tools that are re-evaluated every two years. Meanwhile, the enterprise will have to offer tools for storage, sharing and downloading corporate applications before consumer companies become entrenched.

Among the most interesting points in the presentation was the concept that no vendor is safe from being disrupted. A bring your own vendor world could actually happen. That reality will be disruptive considering most IT folks always note that "you can't get fired for buying (insert vendor name here)." Consumerization will challenge that saying.