For many aspects of IT, the business market takes its cue from developments in the consumer sector. Even if other items like servers, databases and virtualisation are still enterprise-centric, developments in tablet PCs and smartphones are driven first of all by what private users want. These mobile computing devices are accounting for an increasingly large part of IT everywhere. That means that if you want to see what will happen in the business market tomorrow, look at the consumer market today. Tablets and smartphones also open up new possibilities for effective business continuity management. But other consumer IT innovations are contributing to changes in BCM too.
Consumer IT has also given us social networks. At first they were a means for making friends, sharing news and expressing opinions. When business discovered the power of social media, it started to put them to use to run operations more effectively, share knowledge better and engage employees. It also spotted the potential for Twitter and Facebook, the two largest social networks, for keeping stakeholders and customers informed in times of crisis. Likewise, several project management software applications now offer internal Twitter-like and Facebook-like functionality for internal social networking to help project teams to better achieve their objectives.
However, that doesn’t mean that every consumer IT novelty will automatically cross over into business. Wearable computing for example may help you to keep tabs on your kids (which may be important), but business users don’t seem to have been convinced so far. One exception may be Google Glass. With its voice recognition, camera and miniature screen, it has already found its way into a number of business applications. It could also help in business continuity situations where hands-free real-time two-way information access and communication is required. And for the future? While Google makes up its mind about an official release date for Google Glass, the 3D web, mobile chips under your skin and the totally connected everywhere Internet of Things provide food for BCM thought too.