When it comes to creating new applications or software to solve business problems, a growing number of employees are going it on their own, a survey from Intuit QuickBase reveals. The survey found that nearly one in five information workers has built or customized a Web application or software for work purposes without support from IT. The survey also found that 50 percent of information workers now turn to online databases and Web-based productivity applications, instant messaging platforms, video chat services and social networks to solve their own business problems.
"There's a fast-growing population of do-it-yourself app creators in every organization," said Allison Mnookin, vice president and general manager of Intuit QuickBase. "These motivated employees are taking advantage of easy-to-use Web-based platforms to respond to the accelerating pace and increasing complexity of business demands. With intimate knowledge of customer and work group needs and easy-to-use cloud tools, information workers solve their own problems faster than IT can accommodate them. IT departments that embrace and empower these employees can drive competitiveness for their businesses."
Sixty-eight percent of information workers who built or customized an application on their own said they completed the work in less than a week. In contrast, 72 percent of those using an internal development team to build a solution reported it took more than a month to complete. Survey results indicated that not only are they creating their solutions faster, the solutions are sticking: 82 percent reported that their do-it-yourself solution is still being used within their organization or team.
A total of 17 percent of information workers said they select tools and software to meet their needs without IT approval or support. "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," Mnookin said. "Otherwise, if they leave the company, IT will not necessarily know how to replicate or maintain the success."
Mnookin warned that 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 percent.
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