Many businesses are beginning to find that off-the-shelf solutions cannot fulfill every unique need. The issue is further complicated by the fact that different departments will likely need unique tools to maximize productivity. This realization has led to many companies adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, and many are beginning to apply the bring-your-own paradigm to software as well.
The bring-your-own-application trend may yield significant advantages for businesses of all sizes. However, ZDNet’s Heather Clancy reported that it has already achieved widespread proliferation among small- and medium-sized businesses. Highlighting data from a recent LogMeIn survey, she noted that 70 percent of polled businesses actively use employee-introduced software. Similarly, researchers said that 40 percent of collaboration and productivity resources came from workers’ suggestions.
Not surprisingly, many of the widely used services such as Google Docs are based in the cloud. Another trend Clancy touched on is that cloud services have changed the role IT plays within the business. Eighty-nine percent of respondents see BYOA as a force that necessitates an evolution in IT’s skill set.
One of the new responsibilities for internal IT teams will likely be to vet potential providers. As the market for online database solution providers becomes more competitive, technology staff will need to identify which vendors are the best fit for the business. Forrester Senior Analyst TJ Keitt identified several crucial questions to ask when vetting cloud services, including whether the platform will integrate into existing business software and how much support the vendor will provide.