PC Trends for 2012: “Consumerization of IT” Changing the Face of Enterprise Technology

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 21, 2012 — Just when the corporate IT department thinks it’s got everything nailed down, along comes a new technology, gadget or standard that changes everything.

Now, more than ever, the hot topic is part technology, part social movement. The so-called “consumerization of IT” may be causing wrinkled brows and sleepless nights for the tech department, but its potential to revolutionize information-worker productivity has generated comparisons to Henry Ford’s impact on manufacturing.

What’s the driving force behind the movement? In a word, choice. With so many great PCs and devices on the market today, people want to work wherever they are, on whatever device is comfortable for them. This can be a big benefit to companies, allowing for global productivity around the clock. It can also be a big challenge for the IT department, which wants homogeneity, predictability, security.

But the two sides may not be so far apart. For one thing, technology standards, especially when it comes to Web protocols, have created a world where devices of all stripes can play well together. When it comes to the Windows ecosystem, Microsoft has spent a couple of decades building a technology stack that can run the smallest handheld devices all the way to the world’s most powerful servers. Windows Azure cloud services can provide even more options for companies that want to give their workers the flexibility to work from virtually anywhere on any device, and Windows 7 was designed to help businesses get the most out of their technologies by keeping employees productive no matter where they work while having a great experience across a range of devices.

With all this in mind, manufacturers are coming up with an increasing array of PCs that can handle the switch from the board room to the living room with aplomb. Advances in processors, graphics, displays and storage have driven performance up and costs down, allowing PCs at the traditional enterprise price points to play movies and video games as well as handle that 27-slide PowerPoint deck.

Want some examples? Check out today’s slideshow featuring smart devices and PCs that look just as good in business attire as they do in shorts and sandals.