BYOA Underestimated in the Workplace

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A recent survey by LogMeIn and Edge Strategies reveals that IT professionals significantly underestimate the scope of the bring-your-own-app (BYOA) trend in their workplace.

Designed to explore the usage and adoption of employee-introduced cloud applications in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the study delves into the types and numbers of applications entering the workplace, as well as IT’s response to managing and controlling this influx. Approximately 60% of internal IT, outsourced IT, and non-IT respondents surveyed in UK and Ireland reported active use of employee-introduced apps in the workplace, and IT professionals surveyed estimated the number of these apps to be 3.2 apps on average per organisation. However, subsequent data collected from similar-sized organisations via app discovery technology found that the average number of BYO apps to be closer to 21 per organisation – a staggering 6.5 times more.

The survey indicated BYOA adoption is growing globally, with penetration in the UK and Ireland slightly behind other parts of the world; 70% of organisations in both the US and Australia/New Zealand reported some presence of BYOA.

Conducted by Edge Strategies on behalf of LogMeIn, the survey explores the impact of BYOA, a trend at the intersection of two of the biggest IT industry transformation drivers: the pervasive rise of cloud offerings and the consumerisation of IT. Survey questions covered popular apps and categories commonly used by businesses, including cloud file sync and share apps (e.g. Dropbox, Cubby, Google Drive), collaboration apps (e.g. Skype, join.me, Trello), productivity apps (Evernote, Google Apps for Business/Google Docs), as well as social apps and remote access apps. Survey respondents included IT professionals, outsourced IT service providers and non-IT business professionals employed and working at organisations ranging from SMBs to mid-sized companies to large enterprises. IT professionals, in particular, were also asked about their own BYOA policies, current approaches to management of these apps, as well as their role in evaluating, influencing, and securing such apps.

“The rapid rise of cloud offerings — along with the consumerisation of IT — is forcing major changes to the way IT operates, and calling into question IT’s overall relevance in today’s employee empowered workplace. The critical security and management requirements remain IT’s primary mandate, and yet IT is increasingly outside of the loop when it comes to app selection and worse, the way data is stored and shared across these apps,” said W. Sean Ford, CMO of LogMeIn. “We believe that the role of IT needs to be fundamentally redefined if IT professionals want to regain their strategic voice, and this means reinventing the way they approach the management of apps, devices and data in the BYO era.”