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

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.

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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, Servers, IT Employment

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9 comments
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  • Fantastic!

    We'll be sure to pass along the regulatory and compliance fines to these empowered employees. Why should be foot that cost now.

    First BYOT now DIY. We can likely slash our IT budget by the millions by next year.
    MobileAdmin
    • RE: Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

      @MobileAdmin,

      Yea! What about Sarbanes-Oxley compliance? What happens when they fail to properly secure their data and accidentally expose protected information? What happens when their home grown app becomes a business critical app and they don't have backups, source control, change control...etc. Who is going to support that app when the wiz kid who cobbled it together leaves...without documenting anything?
      bmonsterman
      • RE: Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

        @bmonsterman

        Thats my main issue with all these smoke and mirror articles. None of these companies have to deal with that stuff. Compliance IS the main reason IT is slow and expensive. Do people really want things to go back to no goverance and a free for all?

        What's funny is the outcry the second there is a major privacy and data breach. THEN we hear the cried on how IT is not doing their job and protecting blah blah.

        Trust me .. everyone would love to enable employees, drive effenciency, productivity but with the current regulatory environment many companies need to adhere to - your hands are tied.
        MobileAdmin
      • RE: Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

        @bmonsterman @MobileAdmin Good points. That's why I argue in the post that there is skepticism 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. And, there's a clear need for the direction and framework enterprise architecture and governance (both automated and business-driven) can provide.
        joemckendrick
      • RE: Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

        @joe,
        Don't get me wrong. I don't see a problem with alot of DIY app dev work in corporate departments. However these apps cannot become a system of record or they are headed for trouble. In addition, if they become a vital part of every day human processes (IOW, the business stops when the app goes down), then they need to be re-written in whatever the platform of choice is for the organization and integrated into whatever IT governances are in place.
        bmonsterman
  • RE: Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

    Rogue/creative people belong in startups, not enterprises. They should leave and make everyone happier. As one such rogue employee, that's what I did and it was good for everyone.
    lippidp
    • RE: Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

      @lippidp Creative == Rogue?

      Since when?
      CobraA1
      • RE: Employees: we'll build our own technology solutions, thank you

        @CobraA1

        That's with the suits or IT admins call them.
        mm71
  • This is the future

    IT has overpriced, over-controlled, under-delivered in the perceptions of users. IT forces solutions on people that they don't want. I work in a private bank right now where the wealth management sales counselors want iPads and the bank, that spends 50 million E per year on IT is going to deploy Galaxy tablets to save money. Really? Save a few Euros on a 50 million E budget? They are reviled and despised in the bank. But if you want to know how good they are, just ask them and they will tell you. Are the IT people wrong? I dunno. Are the users wrong? Never. But IT thinks they are and can't explain why. IT sells technical solutions, IT clients buy solutions. In the end, the clients just want to feel like they are getting what they want to buy.
    mlindl