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Get ready for the 'bizumer'

The high-tech media, myself included, has been pontificating plenty about the affect of consumer technology on what people are willing to use — or at least tolerate — in a work environment.

There is the affect of social media, of course, although that is the subject for another rant.

To me, the most profound impact is this: enterprise users have increasingly limited patience for applications that are complicated and bloated with unnecessary features. They are becoming what a number of people way smarter than me are calling “bizumers.” A long-time contact and colleague of mine, former Scient and Mercury Interactive marketing guru Christopher Lochhead of Play Bigger Advisors, wrote a great essay describing the bizumer for Fortune last fall.

There are three big reasons that technology solution providers should be paying attention to this trend:

  1. As tablet computers enter the workplace — sanctioned or otherwise — people are becoming more familiar with the concept of application marketplaces. Need to complete a task? Download a simple application that handles it.
  2. Users are sick of waiting for IT. The world of business is moving way too fast for companies to have the luxury of sitting around and waiting for some technology guru to bless what they want to use.
  3. A new generation of workers entering the workforce will balk at using applications that are too complicated for their own good. Sure, you could make them use it, but that doesn’t inspire a culture of collaboration.

The world of business software is changing rapidly, thanks in large part to the promise of software as a service, which offers a way for companies to transform some of their technology investments into an operational expense. But don’t overlook the human motivators for this interest as you consider which applications to recommend.

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