Anyone remember the days of nine to five? When, once work was finished for the day, that was likely to be it until the following day. Now of course the office is permanently with us and that was really brought about with the arrival of the Smart phone.

I guess that really started in 2003 when the first ‘convergent’ device was released by Blackberry, which supported push emails, text, web browsing and of course mobile phone.

The business world was quick to realise the benefits this offered; providing employees the ability to communicate and access email, calendars etc. whilst on the move, and so organisations themselves implemented a mobile strategy, installing Blackberry Enterprise Servers and equipping employees with BlackBerrys. And so it continued for the IT department during the mid 2000s, maintaining control of the applications and device types and of course access to the enterprise.

But that was all about to change due to the vision of entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. We all know how enthusiastically the iPhone was adopted after its arrival in 2007 and most of you’ll know I am included in the many aficionados of that device!

At the same time social media arrived; the following year Facebook had 100 million users (on its way to today’s 900 million) and Twitter was taking off. Tablets were to follow in 2010 with the launch of the iPad, followed by alternatives such as the first Samsung Galaxy.

Given the experience of always being in touch wherever they are, the ’always on’ employees expect and demand access to applications from anywhere at any time. Executives want to use their iPads in the board room. The capabilities and the convenience that smart phones and tablets offer have indeed led to the consumerisation of IT.

This in turn has led organisations to adopt a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, allowing employees to use the device of their preference. And of course there are sound commercial benefits in doing so!

What was once the domain of the IT department is now driven by the employees themselves! One effect of the consumerisation of IT has been the demise of tablets designed and targeted at enterprises such as HP’s Touch Pad and Cisco’s Cius which were not able to offer consumers what they want at the right price. Those companies who have not adapted to the new model are hurting as evidenced by HPs latest round of redundancies.

The adoption of BYOD is widespread, as shown in Cisco’s latest survey; where, of 600 companies surveyed, 95% have a BYOD policy and 35% actually provide IT support. And of course it does make sense!

BYOD driven by the consumerisation of IT has meant that organisations need to provide access to enterprise applications from multiple device types. This of course is a complex undertaking given the number of languages, disciplines involved not to mention the number of skills required!

This has resulted in the advent of MEAPs (Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms) which greatly simplify the process. They provide the ability to integrate applications, creating the required work flows and delivering to multiple device types. To me it’s quite clear; consumerisation of IT is a fact! Those organisations that adapt to it quickly with a BYOD approach and take advantage of the benefits of a MEAP can realise the benefits BYOD brings, what’s more they’ll be able to outperform the future!