Unlike rings, there is no one app to rule them all. Cloud-based applications make it easier than ever for anyone in any department to get tools uniquely situated for their needs. The days of employees filing requests with central IT to get software licenses are long over.
Self-service is the name of the game. If someone can’t get the app they want from the IT department, then they will get it themselves. Employees in at least 55 percent of all businesses use their own hardware for work, and even more firms permit staff to use their own apps.
From denial to acceptance
When faced with the issues inherent in self-provisioned apps, enterprise IT departments too often choose one of two choices. They either ban the practice outright or try to curtail it through an enterprise app store – by the end of this year, one out of every four enterprise firms will likely have such a portal, according to Gartner.
Neither choice is ideal, however. Both operate under the premise that businesses need a small number of apps or that central IT can predict which apps their users, departments or partners need. These assumptions do not accurately reflect today’s business environment nor the unique needs of all stakeholders – both internal and external.
Consider Salesforce for example. Sales and marketing departments consider it highly useful, but those in other departments, such as human resources, need to use different apps. Finance needs separate apps, and so do support, product and service departments. These disparate teams still need to work together, but each one will select their favorite apps regardless of what others use.
Issues with disjointed app environments
This problem has become all too commonplace. The typical enterprise network now has to support more than 500 apps. IT leaders who try to convince their co-workers to only use select pre-approved apps will find their requests falling on deaf ears.
Due in large part to app sprawl, sales teams lack needed product information, marketing teams develop poorly conceived campaigns, accounts payable sends bills to incorrect addresses and supply chain leaders can’t successfully predict demand. The list goes on.
How to encourage self-service and cross-departmental collaboration
The question is not how to stop self-service app provisioning, but what IT can do to link together all the apps in use enterprise-wide. This is why integration has become such a prevalent topic.
Businesses have numerous options to choose from when selecting an integration solution. Some firms may want to build all of their own APIs, but developing and managing each one is often a timely and expensive endeavor. Instead, IT departments typically find that having one integration solution that covers all of the company’s core apps is a far more streamlined and manageable approach.
Every department and team needs their own apps to be successful. Instead of trying to curtail stakeholders, IT should encourage self-service app provisioning and make it more powerful through enterprise-wide integration. Every app on its own is incomplete. By creating a connected and intertwined app ecosystem, businesses ensure that all stakeholders can have their preferred tools and work together better, and businesses can realize the true return on their app investments, because connected apps create more value.
Learn about how connectivity can create more value for: