You knew it was only a matter of time before someone came up with this twist on cloud services adoption: there's a new survey out from remote management software and cloud app vendor LogMeIn detailing some of the implications of the "bring your own application" phenomemon (aka BYOA).
Like the related phrase "bring your own device" (or BYOD), the BYOA term is used to describe the use of employee-introduced technology (in this case cloud services and applications) for professional or work purposes.
Fellow ZDNet blogger Joe McKendrick details the rise of the BYOA movement in this article from a few weeks ago, mostly from the enterprise perspective. He notes that the introduction of spreadsheets - now a widely used tool EVERYWHERE - owes a lot to the first incarnation of BYOA.
LogMeIn's new survey looks at the implications of BYOA for small and midsized businesses (SMBs). They are, as it turns out, quite huge - almost 70 percent of the 1,200 companies that participate in its study reported "active use" of employee-introduced applications, most of which happen to live in the cloud.
The usage isn't confined to any one application category. It includes cloud synchronization and storage services, collaboration apps, productivity tools, and social business resources.
Here are some statistical highlights:
- 69 percent of social software such as Yammer or LinkedIn was originally introduced by employees
- Approximately 40 percent of the collaboration and productivity resources used by SMBs (such as EverNote, Skype or GoogleDocs) came through employee suggestions; among about one-quarter of the survey respondents, those resources are now "company-endorsed"
- The category that continues to cause the most concern is cloud synchronization and storage, because of the questionable security associated with many of the offerings.
- There is very little management of these applications and services - about 26 percent of SMBs rely on the honor system, 21 percent block sites to thwart usage and 23 percent look the other way.
The survey covered businesses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, across a broad range of industries.