Do-it-yourself apps becoming more popular with enterprises (report)

Do-it-yourself apps becoming more popular with enterprises (report)

Summary: If there isn't an app already made to accomplish a particular task, many enterprise employees are just taking to creating their own, according to Intuit.

TOPICS: Apps, Cisco, iPad, Mobility

The phrase "there's an app for that" is so common that it might come as a surprise when there isn't already a mobile app developed that will take care of a particular task you want to accomplish.

Thus, many savvy enterprise employees are giving up on waiting for something to pop up in the Chrome Web Store or Mac App Store, among other app marketplaces, while taking a more proactive approach.

A new report from Intuit QuickBase reveals that approximately one in five information workers has built or customized a Web app or software for work purposes without support from IT. Furthermore, about 17 percent of information workers admitted that they use tools and software to develop these programs regardless of IT approval or support.

Many information workers avoid IT departments these days to the point where 50 percent of survey respondents replied that they "turn to online databases and Web-based productivity apps, instant messaging platforms, video chat services and social networks to solve their own business problems."

Of course, there are some potential security repercussions that could come about from the proliferation of do-it-yourself apps on a company's network. Intuit reports that at least 35 percent of businesses don't encourage employees to create these apps independently.

Intuit QuickBase vice president and general manager Allison Mnookin explained in the report that IT departments should pay more attention to this trend as it can prove to be beneficial or harmful to a company, depending on how the situation is handled:

These ‘rogue’ employees can be extremely beneficial in their motivation to solve business needs, but their energies are best harnessed if management supports them by providing the resources they need to succeed. Otherwise, if they leave the company, IT will not necessarily know how to replicate or maintain the success.

For reference, Intuit and Global Strategy Group surveyed more than 900 information workers at companies that have more than 100 employees.


Topics: Apps, Cisco, iPad, Mobility

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  • define the apps

    If they are from IT worker, that is resaonable. but only a tiny part of workers can really create apps.
  • RE: Do-it-yourself apps becoming more popular with enterprises (report)

    Actually you would be amazed. Cloud tools such as QuickBase have been opening up that door for years to non-technical folks. Along with being an agent of change(Rogue) they are usually solid "information workers" who see workflow deficits and understand information. Little to no technology background required. And when it is needed these organization can get from integration firms such as ours. And as far as security worries it's far more secure than spreadsheets and email and information can be shared by everyone at once.<br><br>Rich Crum<br>
  • Driving new business agility and productivity

    Great Post and leading QuickBase Solution Providers we are on the front lines seeing and enabling this development for progressive companies everywhere. Employed correctly, it empowers employees to become drivers of remarkable new levels of business agility and productivity. If your company isn't broadly using QuickBase or similar tools, you need to be.

    Scott Wyatt
    CEO - Advantage Integrated Solutions
  • Employees Are Smarter Than You Think

    @ZenithY, your comment that, "only a tiny part of workers can really create apps" is perhaps a bit antiquated. As a pioneer in the field for which I coined the term "Inventive User" more than 25 years ago, this allegedly newly spotted trend is a yawner to those of us who have been monitoring this space for years.

    Employees will bypass the IT department whenever it suits their needs to do so if they can find suitable tools with which to do so. Many years ago, Apple produced a tool called HyperCard that led to tens if not hundreds of thousands of apps being written in the trenches to solve problems that were too specific and small to get the IT shop's attention. A logical successor to that amazing technology (which Apple blew completely) is called LiveCode from Runtime Revolution ( is even more empowering than its ancestor. Reasonably intelligent employees with an unmet need for processing power will find tools and use them to do things the IT shop can't or won't approach.

    I don't know or recommend QuickBase, but I can tell you this: my corporate clients get a clear message from me in consultation situations that they need to find ways to encourage Inventive Users in their organizations to assist in making the organization more efficient and effective. At a time when most if not all companies are asking fewer employees to do more work with less money, this sort of activity is becoming a key, if invisible, part of a company's IT picture.

    Dan Shafer
    Chairman and Chief Visionary Officer
    Shafer Walters Group (