CES 2014 Sees Increased Interest in the Enterprise

There was a time when CES was essentially only a toy store. That may sound absurd, but it’s true. The TVs, phones, video game systems, and computers were for tech-heads who had to have the latest devices…in their homes.

But with the rampant rise of consumerization, and the complete inability for businesses, especially in the enterprise, to continue to stifle bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies—many of the cutting edge devices seen at CES 2014 were just as much developed for use at work as they were for anywhere else.

In a recent study done by Samsung and IDG, results showed that 85% of companies are encouraging the BYOD movement—all the more reason for device manufacturers to spend the time developing products that fit and perform in the office.

CITEworld’s Simon Bisson attended CES this year, and wrote a fantastic piece, titled, “ The two big trends at CES that will affect the enterprise this year.” Bisson can’t ignore the glow of the shiny physical objects around him, many of them mobile devices, nor should he, but he also can’t help but pick up on something else.

Noting the “ubiquity of the tablet,” Bisson realizes that it’s their increased processing power, and affordability, that are making them so viable, not just to consumers, but also to IT departments looking to “give workers access to self-service portals and other corporate resources without the cost of a fleet of PCs.”

Bisson goes on to credit the “blur” between enterprise and consumer technologies and recommends that that IT departments better be “ready to embrace” a trend that’s not only growing at CES each year, but in the innovative businesses of the world.

This brings up a new question. Enterprise CIO forum community manager John Dodge asks if this “blur” means that CIOs should be attending and paying attention to CES each year, since many of these can’t-live-without devices and their ability to operate SaaS offerings involving “rogue and unauthorized clouds” pose a potential risk to their organization.

While Dodge appears unsold on the idea that CES is a mandatory conference for CIOS, he does note that they should probably “educate themselves about products they might ultimately have to forbid or monitor.”

The main headline grabbers from CES each year may always be the new world’s largest television, or the most off-the-wall product (did anyone manage to escape hearing about the Bluetooth toothbrush?) but we’re definitely seeing much more talk about software than we did in the past—and we have consumerization, and the enterprise applications that can be run on these devices to thank for it.

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