Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

Summary:Intuit QuickBase survey of 900 employees find cloud is awakening a sleeping giant -- DIY technology.

The D.I.Y. application movement has reached critical mass. When it comes to creating new apps or software to solve business problems, a growing number of employees are doing it on their own, with or without IT's help.

A recent survey of 900 information workers from Intuit QuickBase finds that nearly one in five (17%) has built or customized a Web app or software for work purposes without support from IT. In addition, 50% say they have turned to online resources to develop their own workarounds to IT.

Is this a good thing?  Many IT professionals have been skeptical about giving non-tech-savvy end-users too much leeway, because it can result in a real mess that the IT folks would have to go in and fix.

That's why enterprise architecture and automated governance frameworks are so essential, to provide an environment in which end-users can build their own apps, yet have them conform to corporate standards, keep data secure, and not drive the servers to their knees.

Still, respondents seem happy with the results of user-developed apps. For example, 68% of information workers who built or customized an app on their own said they completed the work in less than a week. In contrast, 72% of those using an internal development team to build a solution reported it took more than a month to complete.

and these user-developed apps appear to have some long-term life as well.  Eighty-two percent reported that their do-it-yourself solution is still being used within their organization or team.

Businesses that don?t enable employees to act independently run the risk of losing their talent. Fifty percent of “rogues” responding said they?d consider switching jobs to have a more technologically free work environment. Among people that feel empowered, that percentage open to switching jobs drops to 26%.

People constantly fret about business-IT alignment.  It looks like employees are doing their own alignment.

Topics: Apps, IT Employment, Servers

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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