Get ready to sing along, folks. Pull up the tune of Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing." Swap out "MTV" with "iPhone here" and you'll be all set. Here we go. "I want my, I want my, I want my iPhone here."

This is the story of the consumer enterprise. The word "consumer" literally means one who acquires and uses stuff. This is a bit different from what enterprise software vendors mean by the word. Enterprise software companies tend to mean "people when they are not at work," and the term typically has a technology ring to it.

The underlying premise is that there's "work technology" and there's "home technology." The trouble with this is twofold:

  • The boundary between work technology and home technology is blurry. Here's a first-hand example. When I joined QlikTech in early July, I brought my personal iPhone and iPad to the IT department and said, "Can I get my email on these?" Within 10 minutes, I had my company email and calendar on both devices. I went to the Apple iTunes store and downloaded QlikView to my devices, as well. And when I turned on my shiny new standard-issue corporate laptop I personalized it, changing default settings and installing tools that I like to think boost my productivity.
  • Every information worker is also a consumer. With this comes a consumer's sensibility about what technology can and should do. I have used dreadful software in the workplace, grumbling the whole time about the illogical user interface or clunky features. (Meridian mail, anyone?) And I have delighted in the experience of using technologies like Google search, iPhone/iPad, and iTunes. I want this same ease of use and fun factor in my work toolkit.

One reason why I am so happy to have landed in a product marketing role here at QlikTech is because the company not only recognizes these tensions, but has built its software product around them. QlikView breaks the business intelligence mold with software designed for what we think of as the consumer enterprise: workplaces made up of people who have consumer expectations about technology. For a brief look at what I mean, check out the "Introduction to QlikView" video we published a little while back.