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Edge Strategies / LogMeIn BYOA Research

Study Finds IT Pros Grossly Underestimate Scope of Employee Introduced Apps

BOSTON, April 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A recent survey by LogMeIn, Inc. (LOGM) 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. As indicated in the study, while approximately 70% of companies surveyed reported active use of employee-introduced apps in the workplace, IT professionals surveyed estimated the number of these apps to be 2.8 apps per organization. However, subsequent data collected from similar-sized organizations via app discovery technology found that the average number of BYO apps to be closer to 21 per company -- a staggering 7 times more.

Conducted by Edge Strategies on behalf 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 consumerization of IT. Survey questions covered popular apps and categories like 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 sourced from organizations 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.

Key findings from the report include:

-- IT significantly underestimates the number of employee introduced apps in the workplace: While IT reported an average of 2.8 BYO apps in their workplace, subsequent app discovery data shows the average to be closer to 21 apps -- a 7X disparity

-- BYOA is pervasive and expected to grow: Approximately 70% of companies report that employee-introduced apps are actively being used in the workplace, and 42% of respondents expect BYOA to grow significantly over the next 5 years

-- SMBs report higher prevalence of BYOA: For companies between 11-100 employees, BYOA was even more acute, with 81% reporting active use of employee introduced apps

-- Nearly 2/3 of BYO apps are introduced and used despite existing IT-provided solutions already in place: Empowered employees are choosing their own preferred solutions, as more than 64% of employee-introduced apps are being used in place of existing company applications meant to serve the same need

-- Consulting IT no longer the norm ... and it's worse than IT believes: When asked whether IT is consulted on the decision to introduce apps into the workplace, 56% of IT pros reported that they were consulted. Employees had a much different answer, with only 45% saying they actually consulted or informed IT before introducing cloud applications into the workplace

-- Employee introduced apps overtaking -- or have overtaken -- IT provisioned apps in key categories

  • 58% of all cloud sync and share apps were first introduced by employees
  • 52% of all productivity apps were first introduced by employees
  • 49% of all collaboration apps were first introduced by employees

-- Employees lead, IT follows: Apps originally introduced by employees are often later adopted and/or endorsed by IT for broader use within the organization.

  • 59% of collaboration apps originally introduced by employees are now endorsed by IT
  • 55% of productivity apps originally introduced by employees are now endorsed by IT
  • 41% of file sync and share apps originally introduced by employees are now endorsed by IT

-- Free and unmanaged versions are the norm, even after IT endorsement: Even after IT pros endorse employee-introduced apps, only a very small percentage of those apps become centrally managed.

  • File sync and share apps: 54% of employees use unmanaged free versions; 20% use individual, unmanaged paid versions and only 26% used centrally managed, business versions
  • Collaboration apps: 46% of employees use unmanaged free versions; 25% use individual, unmanaged paid versions and only 29% used centrally managed, business versions
  • Productivity apps: 42% of employees use unmanaged free versions; 42% use individual, unmanaged paid versions and only 15% used centrally managed, business versions

-- Line of business managers take on provisioning lead over IT: Only 1/3 of IT pros report that they handle all provisioning of cloud apps; 67% of IT pros report that they either split or outright concede most cloud app provisioning responsibilities to business owners

-- Security concerns reign. Control a close second: When asked which issues limit their company's adoption or support of BYOA, more than half (54%) point to concerns around data security, and 45% cite a lack of control/management of apps

-- Few IT pros claim to have the policies and management tools to handle BYOA: Only 38% of organizations have a BYOA policy in place and a mere 20% of IT pros feel they are very prepared and have policies and technology in place to mitigate most, if not all, of the security risks associated with BYOA

-- Three IT management profiles/styles emerging around BYOA: While preparedness and management of BYOA remains inconsistent, IT respondents fell into three distinct camps:

  • Active gatekeepers: 30% of IT pros manage BYOA by actively blocking cloud apps from their workplace
  • Strategic facilitators: 29% of IT pros manage BYOA through a combination of analyzing web traffic logs, packet sniffing and/or device monitoring
  • Passive observer: A full 39% of IT pros report that they are neither monitoring nor managing BYOA at all

"The rapid rise of cloud offerings -- along with the consumerization 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."

Related materials:

Full report: http://solutions.logmein.com/BYOA/managing-applications-in-the-age-of-BYOA-report-part-1.html

Infographic: http://blog.logmein.com/uncategorized/infographic-place-age-byoa

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/LogMeIn/byoa-powerpoint

About the research/methodology:

This survey is part of a series of major research studies recently conducted by LogMeIn that focus on the state of IT management in today's world of independent, "BYO" consumers. The series will focus on three key areas: managing applications, managing devices and managing data.

For this study, we explored usage and adoption of employee-introduced applications within companies worldwide and how this has led to a loss of control for IT managers. We partnered with Edge Strategies to survey IT and non-IT professionals across the world in various-sized organizations, including both LogMeIn customers, as well as an independent panel. Respondents included 1,390 IT and Non-IT professionals in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

About LogMeIn, Inc.

LogMeIn (LOGM) transforms the way people work and live through secure connections to the computers, devices, data, and people that make up their digital world. The company's cloud services free millions of people to work from anywhere, empower IT professionals to securely embrace the modern cloud-centric workplace, give companies new ways to reach and support today's connected customer, and help businesses bring the next generation of connected products to market.

LogMeIn is headquartered in Boston's Innovation District with offices in Australia, Hungary, India, Ireland, and the UK.

LogMeIn is a trademark of LogMeIn in the U.S. and other countries.