SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek is Vice President, Research at Frost & Sullivan. She is a renowned expert in unified communications, collaboration, social...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Melanie Turek | November 19, 2012 |

 
   

Where's the Innovation on the Enterprise Side?

Where's the Innovation on the Enterprise Side? Why has all the recent tech innovation come from consumer-product manufacturers?

Why has all the recent tech innovation come from consumer-product manufacturers?

Recently, Eric Krapf posted about the Consumerization Canary, in which he challenges the notion that consumer applications and services threaten to overtake--or even eliminate--IT. The fact is, when employees bring their own applications and devices into the enterprise, they often create more work for IT, since the organization must now monitor their use for control and security breaches.

But even more important, as Eric notes, they highlight the pain points users want solved: If your enterprise users are relying on Skype to make long-distance or international calls, you should be asking why. Are those users not getting the necessary telephony capabilities from their enterprise devices? Are they facing budget crunches and looking for a low-cost (or free) alternative? Are they finding the enterprise tools you give them too cumbersome or difficult to use? Once you find the answers to those questions, you can respond accordingly; whether you do so with enterprise-grade or consumer technology will depend on a number of factors relevant to your organization and its top priorities.

But there's another issue raised by the consumerization trend, and I think we who work in enterprise IT overlook it at our peril: Why has all the recent tech innovation come from consumer-product manufacturers, rather than enterprise vendors? Not so long ago, the new ideas in useful IT tools came from the workplace. It wasn't just PCs and other devices that people started using at work and then brought home as costs declined and usage increased. Microsoft Office and other applications set the stage for changing how we managed our personal lives, too, as did workplace services like voicemail, email, and other communications technologies.

Today, the opposite is true. When was the last time you saw a new feature in a communications and collaboration application or service come from an enterprise vendor? Instead, we get Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, et. al. playing catch-up--effectively redesigning capabilities developed for the consumer world so that they better serve the enterprise market. That's necessary work, of course, but it's hardly original.

When I recently asked a product manager in Cisco's WebEx Social team when the enterprise vendors are going to start leading the charge when it comes to new technology, rather than following the trends in consumer apps, services and devices, he didn't really have an answer. For instance, Cisco is very proud of the new "Watch List" within WebEx Social, which highlights status posts, comments and so on that are particularly important to the user, based on specific rules and policies. How, exactly, is that different from Facebook's email notifications and (extremely unpopular) News Feed? It's not.

Of course, there is some innovation happening on the enterprise side, especially in the area of multi-party video conferencing and other back-end network-management issues. But from an end-user perspective, I'm more likely to see truly interesting new apps and services from the companies appealing to me, rather than the company for which I work. And that could prove to be a serious problem for IT and its enterprise vendors in the not-too-distant future.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

February 7, 2017

Securing voice communications used to be very simple since it was generally a closed system. However, with unified communications (UC) you no longer have the walled protection offered by a dedicate

February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.