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The Next Phase of Consumerization

Over the last year, we have worked with more than 30 clients who are in various stages of rolling out a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) programme. While much work remains, our research in this area has moved well beyond the evangelism phase, and is now focused on the practical change management agenda and BYOT’s many implications for procurement, legal, finance, HR, security and other areas.

Next Phase of Consumerization

BYOT is the appropriate term, not BYOD, because the future of consumerization will be about far more than devices.

But as one phase of consumerization matures, others enter their development phase. Recently, we have been thinking about how to best define the next phase of consumerization. As we wrote about back in May, this phase will make it clear that BYOT is the appropriate term, not BYOD, because the future of consumerization will be about far more than devices. Some of the key consumer technology movements we are currently tracking are listed below.

User-generated content

In many industries, what customers are saying online about a firm’s products and services is already more important than what that company says about itself, and this shift will accelerate over the next few years.

Next generation tools

To use personal computers effectively, we all had to learn how to manage files and use word processing, spreadsheet and graphics software. During this year’s LEF Study Tour, we will identify the emerging tools and services that double-deep professionals will need to master.

New user interfaces

Voice and video recognition, touch screens and Google glasses are all evidence of an emerging post-WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers) world to which enterprise systems will have to quickly adjust.


The technical ability of smart phones to virtualize the wallet – by both accepting and making payments – is already here. While many inertia challenges remain, electronic payment systems will increasingly become just another internet application.

Identity 2.0

Consumer devices and social media services will increasingly be used to establish and verify individual identity, especially when combined with emerging biometric technologies and the data trails created by these platforms.


Just as we all have credit scores, services are emerging that rate and compare our online influence – where we show up and who we are connected with on the web and social media. That such services have obvious shortcomings won’t necessarily stop them from being widely used.

The quantified self

Increasingly, our smart phones will be able to track what we eat, what we buy, where we have been, how our blood pressure is changing, and so on. This information will often be of great personal and economic value. It will also shift the balance of power between businesses and consumers, as we increasingly have the ability to capture and control our own data.

We are moving toward an increasingly customer-centric business environment.

The bottom line is that we are moving toward an increasingly customer-centric business environment where information that stems from the actual consumer experience is paramount, and where the flow of economic value is increasingly outside-in. As part of this shift, technology will become so embedded into our work and lifestyle that we will inevitably move toward more of a self-service, do-it-yourself paradigm. In such a world, consumerized devices are just the starting point. The real changes have only just begun.


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Research Commentary

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David Moschella
Research Fellow
David Moschella, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum.  David's focus is on industry disruptions, machine intelligence and related business model strategies.  David was previously Global Research Director of the programme. David’s key areas of expertise include globalization, industry restructuring, disruptive technologies, and the co-evolution of business and IT.  He is the author of multiple research reports, including Disrupting the Professions through Machine Learning and Digital Trust, 2016 Study Tour Report: Applying Machine Intelligence, There is Now a Formula for Machine Intelligence Innovation,  Embracing 'the Matrix' and the Machine Intelligence Era and The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption. An author and columnist, David’s second book, Customer-Driven IT, How Users Are Shaping Technology Industry Growth, was published in 2003 by Harvard Business School Press.  The book predicted the shift from a supplier-driven to today’s customer-led IT environment.  His 1997 book, Waves of Power, assessed global competition within the IT supplier community.  He has written some 200 columns for Computerworld, the IT Industry’s leading publication on Enterprise IT, and has presented at countless industry events all around the world. David previously spent 15 years with International Data Corporation, where he was IDC’s main spokesperson on global IT industry trends and was responsible for its worldwide technology, industry and market forecasts.    


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