Is your data center ready for the consumerization of IT?

Mobility and devices of all shapes and sizes are in the enterprise, so you'd better make sure your data center's equipped.

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Everyone is talking about – and living with – the consumerization of IT in their enterprises. You know, the idea that consumer technologies, both hardware and applications, are heavily influencing and rapidly shifting enterprise IT. I mean, loads of folks are doing business on their personal smart phones and tablets. And their working their work in social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter, blurring the lines between mass communications and corporate communications and shifting the borders between internal and external.

At its annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which just wrapped last week in Orlando, Fla., Gartner analysts told attendees that by 2015, mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber PC projects by 4 to 1.

The topic clearly has IT pros anxious. In a recent survey reported on here in Computerworld, 87 percent of the 750 survey respondents say their employees use personal devices for work-related purposes ranging from email and calendaring to texting to CRM and ERP. Eighty percent report that employees use personal smartphones and 69 percent say personal PCs are brought to work by employees.

The survey, conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by Dell KACE, also found that employees are bringing in personal machines running Windows (63 percent), Mac OS X (37 percent) and Linux (14 percent).

[ Free download: Crafting a successful BYOD and mobile IT strategy ]

The trend is troublesome, according to survey respondents. The majority, 82 percent, report they are concerned about the use of personal devices for work purposes, with the biggest concern being potential network security breaches (62 percent), followed by possible loss of customer enterprise data (50 percent), potential theft of intellectual property (48 percent) and difficulty meeting compliance requirements (43 percent).

By the way, Computerworld and its sister publication CIO magazine have just announced a new conference, CITE: The Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise Conference & Expo, which is to be held March 4-6 in San Francisco. Find out more here.

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