March 27, 2012, 5:08 PM — Personal technology, in many ways, is more important than technology that's big and important – corporate technology that moves billions of widgets, scientific technology that travels billions of miles or billionths of a micron, military technology so precise it can make the same chunk of rubble bounce as many times as you need to get the video with your Predator.
Everyone with any geekish tendencies loves a cool little digital thing, almost regardless of what it's supposed to be able to do.
But phones, laptops, tablets, handheld games and other personal gear was considered to be the toy division of the world-changing innovation factories within the IT industry.
Personal technology was just gadgets, like the desk decorations and little toys near the checkout counter at Staples or Office Depot.
Smartphones? Sure, down Aisle 9, across from the novelty tape dispensers.
That changed along with the Consumerization of IT – personal technology dragged into the workplace, forced under the noses of IT people who sniffed at product names that didn't end in 'nix until they were forced to adapt corporate systems to take advantage of the cost-savings, power increases and mobility of tech being developed for consumers.
Smartphones, apps, tablets, broadband wireless, games, desktop data available worldwide via public cloud services, complex business apps business-unit managers could buy with a credit card years faster than using the old method – building a business case justifying the cost of developing a new app, long-range budget with TCO and ROI projections, not to mention enough political support that the CIO could no longer refuse.
The good thing about consumerization is that corporate IT has had to adapt to devices and form factors it wouldn't have been caught dead pitching as part of the corporate IT budget (though the CEO, CIO and a few favorites of each always seemed to have the coolest meaningless gadgets even without the official support of IT.
The bad thing is that it has encouraged all kinds of people to believe it is acceptable to do things to your technology no decent person would ever do. Most recent case in point: "Outfits for your laptop."
As you would suppose from the title – though you would never in a million years believe this is actually what it meant – "Outfits for your laptop" is a line of clothing for a laptop.
finders & keepers @etsy.com