Much like the growing trend that exists with bring-your-own-devices to the workplace, the bring-your-own-application (BYOA) trend is gaining similar momentum in the Australian and New Zealand market, according to a recent survey by LogMeIn and Edge Strategies.
The survey showed approximately 73 percent of companies in Australia and New Zealand report that employee-introduced apps are actively being used in the workplace, while 40 percent of respondents expect BYOA to grow significantly over the next five years. Australia and New Zealand lead this trend with 44 percent of companies having already adopted BYOA, significantly higher than the 25 percent adoption rate in the US.
LogMeIn Asia Pacific vice president Andy Farquharson said mobility is underpinning a lot of the opportunity employees have to bring their own applications to the workplace.
"Australians have always been strong adopters of software-as-a-service, and this is what this report shows as well," he said.
"Australia and New Zealand are leading the adoption, and the reason why BYOA is becoming popular is because everyone is chasing a level of increased productivity. Mobility is giving that opportunity for enterprises to do this."
Although the study — which looked at cloud file sync and share apps, such as Dropbox, Skype, Evernote, and Good Drive — showed nearly two-thirds of BYOA are introduced and used despite businesses having an existing IT-provided solutions already in place.
"What we're finding is a lot of the apps are already in place ... but they're not quite answering the solution [employees] are looking for, and that's the big challenge IT are finding. IT obviously need to find a way to offer multiple sets of apps," Farquharson said.
However, 37 percent of these Australian and New Zealand organisations do not have a BYOA policy in place, but 75 percent said within the next two years they will.
At the same time, IT respondents reported that they believe there's an average of 2.9 BYO apps in the workplace, but in reality the study indicated there are nearly seven times as many. Farquharson said this is the "biggest" challenge businesses face and need to "get over that big massive gap of what they think is there and what is actually out there", as it could potentially put businesses at "significant security risks".
Farquharson concluded that the BYOA trend could potentially have a positive impact on IT departments, as well as the rest of the company.
"If IT does it in the right way, they will have a seat at the strategic table again. They can take a genuine role in securing the company's data and confidentiality that they've been tasked to do," he said.
"You're going to activate these employees, and really enable them to have a positive change on the organisation. Not only will it give power back to IT but allowing them to choose the role they want to play as they're moving forward."