Welcome to the age of disposability

We live in a world where we don't always think about what we're doing, because we can simply press delete later on, warns Mark Samuels...

The coming together of the cloud, mobile and superfast broadband speeds models means we are entering an age of disposability, where individuals can download discrete apps and then delete the software after its usefulness expires.

Portio Research suggested 82 billion apps were downloaded worldwide in 2013, and by 2017 there will be more than 200 billion downloads per year. Many of these apps will be used for just a short period of time. And just like consumers can download and delete apps from the cloud, so can employees.

Analyst Gartner estimates that, by 2017, 25 per cent of businesses will have an enterprise app store for managing corporate-sanctioned apps on PCs and mobile devices. So, what does disposability mean for the business and how can CIOs best manage the change in procurement patterns?

Apps as a new source of competitive advantage

Enterprise Rent-A-Car European IT director Jeff King suggests disposability and its potential affect on the business represents a fascinating concept. "All CIOs must get better at trying and developing new approaches, and the experimentation provided through highly disposable apps provides another source of innovation," he says.

Taking advantage of disposability, however, is not straightforward. Like other IT experts, King is concerned about how workers would go about choosing and sourcing apps. The traditional role of the IT department is to provide a sense of control. Passing all decision-making to users, in regards to which apps are used and thrown away, might be a step too far for some.

"Many CIOs would struggle with finding the right balance between implementing cheap tools and finding the right solution for the business," says King. "You can't simply go out and give people access to whatever software they want to use. But, equally, you need to give your people more opportunities. We have to make sure the decisions that are made are right for the business."

There are, therefore, many issues for King and his executive peers to consider. However, he also recognises that there is an opportunity cost associated to taking advantage of new applications. A company that is able to find a way to source these developments could gain a significant competitive advantage.

"The tools are being developed so quickly," he says. "Do we, as an IT organisation, have to develop everything internally? Could I give users more freedom to experiment with the tools they find externally? It's a tantalising prospect with many opportunities."

Taking advantage of the age of disposability

When it comes to potential openings, Neil Ward-Dutton, research director and co-founder at MWD Advisors, says the potential for disposability depends on the business context. Certain apps will work best in certain situations. You would not, for example, use disposability on core business platforms, like enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management.

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

CDO job description: What does a CDO do?
Business strategy

CDO job description: What does a CDO do?

22 Oct 2021
Five best practices for resilient, reliable, remote IT services
Whitepaper

Five best practices for resilient, reliable, remote IT services

5 Oct 2021
What does a CISO do?
Careers & training

What does a CISO do?

6 Sep 2021
The cyber security skills your business needs
Security

The cyber security skills your business needs

19 Aug 2021

Most Popular

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal
cloud computing

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal

26 Oct 2021
Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?
cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?

27 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021