We've discussed the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, and we've even reported on the bring your own technology (BYOT) trend, but we haven't revealed the bring your own bring your own applications (BYOA) trend, yet. LogMeIn (NASDAQ:LOGM) and Edge Strategies recently released a report which found that nearly 70 percent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) report active use of an employee-introduced application -- a trend that will increase, according to a third of the SMBs surveyed. Specifically, which applications? We'll reveal the details here.
Roughly 1,200 U.S., Canadian, UK, Australian and New Zealand-based SMBs were included in the survey. The report covered how applications were introduced into the workplace, and the difference between employee-introduced vs. company introduced. It also revealed current and expected IT policies around BYOA, various approaches to managing and securing such apps, as well as the expected impact such a change will have on skill sets required of tomorrow's SMB IT pros.
According to the respondents, employee-introduced applications included the likes of cloud sync and storage apps (e.g. Cubby, Dropbox, SkyDrive), collaboration apps (join.me, Skype, GoToMeeting), productivity apps (Google Docs, Evernote), and social apps (Yammer, LinkedIn). Other key findings included the following:
- Adoption of employee-introduced apps is on the rise -- According to the study, 69 percent of social apps and 52 percent of cloud sync and storage apps were introduced by employees. Managed services providers (MSPs) take note.
- IT pros are balancing the risks and the benefits -- Are you researching the risks and benefits of BYOA? Sixty-seven percent of SMB IT pros listed data security of apps in the cloud as a primary factor limiting adoption of BYOA. The survey also reveals that 77 percent of SMB IT pros are most concerned about security as it relates to cloud sync and storage apps.
- SMBs divided on how to handle these new apps -- As with anything, policies vary. Some employers may be more lenient, while others will tighten their policies up. How will you handle these varying policies? Interestingly enough, 32 percent of SMBs state that they have no policy in place. Twenty-six percent of SMBs manage these apps through an honor system, 21 percent block certain app sites, while 23 percent don't manage BYOA at all.