Surprise! Consumer apps get IT approval in small businesses: GIGAOM.com
In a recent article on GigaOm, author Barb Darrow discusses the findings of a survey of small businesses in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where it was found that the use of “consumer” information technology is being more widely accepted for use in small businesses, and that many of these selections are happening without the knowledge or participation of the IT department.
“Employees are driving business apps selection in many small and medium businesses, according to new research. A good percentage of productivity, social and collaborative apps now sanctioned by IT in SMBs were brought in by workers without IT knowledge.“
Reporting that small businesses are adopting “consumer” IT, and that it is OK with IT departments, isn’t a surprising finding. Small businesses have begun leveraging mobility and cloud solutions to their benefit, being able to take advantage of powerful technologies that previously only enterprise IT departments could enjoy.
“.. the line between personal and workplace technologies has become all but invisible. That poses real challenges to IT departments that have to deal with all sorts of technology coming in over the transom. But it also opens up opportunities for vendors that design easy-to-use consumer apps to enter the business realm as well.”
The cloud introduces new agility and capability for all businesses, not just small business. For IT departments in larger businesses, this is a big IT management issue. For smaller businesses, the IT manager is often the business owner or an occasionally contracted on-site technician. When faced with IT needs in the business, many small business owners will at some level rely upon the solutions they also use in their personal lives – in many cases, there simply isn’t a budget for both. The line between business and personal has always been “blurry” for the small business owner.