The wave is coming - and it's big. No, its not the cloud and virtualization. These trends are well on their way and will impact almost everything about how IT does business. The wave I'm talking about is emerging not out of business need, not purely as a result of new technologies, but because of what employees do when they are not on the job.
Yes, it's the consumerization of the workplace. How many Gen Ys (and most others) are going to be willing to relinquish their iPhone or Android at the door? Give up the touch screen, social networking connections, personal bookmarking, password recognition, intimate familiarity with their device, and almost unlimited functionality their smartphone gives them? Return to a life where work computing and personal computing have a Berlin wall between them? Willing to regress in terms of the technology timeline to earlier, clunkier, legacy technogies? Ask permission at every turn to share data and ideas across business boundaries and social networks?
A BYOC - Bring Your Own Computer - policy is being piloted by companies such as Avnet. Steve Phillips, CIO and Forrester analyst Bill Martorelli are interviewed on CIOTalkRadio about where they see this trend going. Bill says that he sees this trend as not only inevevitable, but potentially as disruptive as "the advent of the PC itself." That's saying a lot.
In this wide-ranging and fascinating discussion, Steve and Bill with the moderator discuss the obvious question of data security, but also the business case for integrating employees' devices into the workplace.
But what does all this have to do with going on a job interview? I have a picture in my mind of the medical specialist who enters the patient's hospital room with a tablet device like an iPad and, not only keeps track of patient health data and is able to connect to a broad network of resources, but shares the iPad screens with the patient. S/he can now easily show the patient what showed up on the MRI imaging and interventions planned to help with the healing.
In the same way, the IT job seeker of the future should have his smartphone available during the interview to demonstrate any of a whole range of things: from competitors' weak links to relevant thought-leader conversations on the Web to presentations they've delivered that reside on LinkedIn or other sites that show their personal brand in action.
In a larger sense, the IT job seeker should be ready to engage with the interviewer about the key changes taking place in the industry, including BYOC, which do or will touch every aspect of the enterprise and every employee in it. Show you understand the far-reaching impacts of key trends on the way you will do your work if hired. Demonstrate that you are riding or ahead of the wave. It will help you.
So bring your passion for IT and success stories to the interview, but don't forget your smartphone.