Cisco's Chambers Sees the End of Business Machines

chambers_091107_tsWhen it comes to the way people interact with technology, the lines between business and personal have been erased, according to Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers. Speaking on his third-quarter earnings conference call yesterday, Chambers said:

I carry the same two devices in my business life and my personal life. A PDA and my Flip. Another key takeaway is to understand [that] in my opinion, the argument about consumer devices and business devices, as well as the two architectures completely blurring, is over. The real question is how do the CIOs in the enterprise business facilitate this change, and that is from a number of recent meetings with some of the top CIOs in the world. They get it. They understand the change and how they facilitate it rather than slow it down.

Aside from his plug for the Flip camera, whose maker Cisco recently agreed to purchase, Chamber’s statements probably ring true for anyone who works for a company that doesn’t have a corporate IT-controlled email network. For example, here at GigaOM we use Gmail, which means I can sport my BlackBerry while one co-worker has an iPhone and another carries a G-1, and no one cares because our email is web-based. The same thing is happening at variety of offices, but those boundaries haven’t been completely erased yet.

Friends of mine who work at firms like IBM, Nvidia, Northrop-Grumman, etc. still carry their business gadgets and their personal ones, if only because their IT departments demand it. So while I agree that consumer hardware is now just as powerful and functional in many cases as the business hardware, issues like corporate control and security still mean most people have two sets of gadgets. Perhaps as cloud-based desktops gain favor, this will change. Readers, what do you think?

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