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Talking with the first senior director of consumerisation

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Malware hits the Mac but is it worth worrying about?
Malware hits the Mac but is it worth worrying about?

It is almost a year since I was told that 2011 would be the year of consumerisation, and I recently met one executive who has been gifted with managing the challenge.

Ever since I was introduced to the concept of the ‘consumerisation of IT' (to give it its full title), I have been given opinion, perspective, research and solutions to address and mitigate the problem.

Last week at the Gartner security conference in London, I met Cesare Garlati, senior director of consumerisation at Trend Micro, who said businesses' staff were forcing IT decisions.

In a recent Trend Micro survey of 600 decision-makers at medium- and large-sized businesses, 56 per cent said they allow personal devices to be used at work. Garlati said this means companies can decrease their investment in devices.

In terms of productivity, Garlati said this was a "no brainer" as employees will often work beyond standard office hours when they have access to mobile devices.

So what is the way forward according to a senior director of consumerisation? He said: “Embrace is the optimal approach. Create a plan that spans the whole organisation; say yes for some but not for everyone by determining a group of users and figure out what technology is allowed; and figure out what tools are needed and put the right infrastructure in place.”

The survey found that security (64 per cent) was the main concern in allowing personal devices to be used in the workplace, followed by data loss (59 per cent) and compliance (43 per cent).

Talking to SC Magazine, Garlati said: “Mobile is part of consumerisation but people do not understand it. People like it and use it. IT wants you to use it, but do not want to be held liable. This is a civil war.”

Garlati added that often, IT is not the driving force of technology, but the end-user adopting what they feel comfortable with.

I concluded by asking Garlati what his role as senior director of consumerisation actually involved; he said he is mainly looking at solutions and driving these to customers. With no real solution in sight, perhaps theory is the way forward.

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