ÜBERTECH | A ZDNet Multiplexer Blog What's this?

One Enterprise CIO's View of CES

A CIO walks into CES...may sound like the beginning of a geeky joke. But it actually happened. And it's another sign of how enterprise IT is embracing consumer technology.

Coming mere days after Christmas, the International Consumer Electronics Show is like a second holiday to most techies. That is, except those techies in enterprise IT.

For them, sexy consumer devices have traditionally been either an annoyance, creating discontent among workers grumbling why they cannot get a similar piece of gear for work, or a real pain, as workers try to sneak those unauthorized gadgets into the office, creating security and management headaches.

That sort of retrogressive, grumpy point-of-view was exemplified by a recent CIO Insight article with the pearl-clutching headline, "CES 2012: 10 New Products Every CIO Should Fear." Gadgets that were supposed to strike fear in the heart of IT managers everywhere included Android devices (security!) and Ultrabooks (budgets! security!).

I don't know what year the CIO Insight writer thought he was in, but back in the year 2012, most CIOs realize that the Consumerization of IT is in full swing, and that they need to treat the merch on display at CES as things they'll be needing - and, frankly, wanting - to buy and manage for their employees.

CIO Magazine, for instance, pointed out that gesture interface technologies like Kinect might make an impact at work sooner than you expect, while waterproofing sprays for protecting mobile devices are a no-brainer for any CIO with a field-service mobile deployment.

And some CIOs like SAP's Oliver Bussmann, are actually walking the aisles of CES to get a first-hand preview of what's coming down the pipe.

Bussmann, as readers of this blog already know, is no ordinary enterprise CIO. He's deployed 14,000 iPads and 8,000 iPhones to SAP employees, launched a global Bring Your Own Device program and created a self-service, internal Enterprise App Store with dozens of apps. Bussmann is also pushing ahead on Android device deployments, and is building a more secure alternative to DropBox for employees to use.

In the following video, Bussmann gives his quick take on five technologies and trends he saw on display at CES this year, along with what their impact could be for businesses like SAP's (my parent company happens to be one of the 70 largest public corporations in the world).

These run from things you've probably heard of - the increasing use of mobile video in unified communications systems for real-time conferencing - to others you might not have heard of (the coming wave of sensor-equipped consumer devices will translate into a $50 billion business for enterprise vendors, predicts Bussmann).

Click here to watch the video if you have difficulties with the link above.