App Sourcing: Are you balancing employee autonomy with IT oversight?

Responsibility for app sourcing is shifting to the business because business leaders know their departments' needs and challenges best. Users need to be able to respond to changing business needs and require flexibility that their IT process often cannot provide. 

But that autonomy can come with a price—users deploying rogue business apps can be both inefficient and risky.

Findings from a study conducted by Forrester Consulting for Microsoft in April 2017 found that shadow app deployment is prevalent and growing in today's business environment. Three in four respondents (78%) surveyed said that they use business apps without IT being involved in the selection or implementation process.

   

Business leaders value app marketplace models

   

While many business decision makers want their employees to innovate for their own productivity and their departments' needs, they still consider IT a necessity to provide guidance to avoid apps that are not well-vetted for an organization's business technology ecosystem and potentially, once deployed, can create security concerns and integration challenges.

The vast majority of business decision makers—79% to 85% depending on the type of app or solution—consider it important or critical to have a cloud, self-service marketplace for researching, deploying, and managing business applications.

However, business applications vary greatly in their scope and complexity, so it's unlikely that a one-size-fits-all approach will meet their needs. End-to-end solutions spanning multiple departments require the most support from IT, while finding and deploying add-ons to existing apps needs to be seamless and fast.

The study finds that to deliver on these needs, IT organizations need to evolve their skill sets to focus more on supporting a fast, self-service model as opposed to driving a slow process from requirements gathering to implementation.

Marketplaces, such as AppSource, can offer the flexibility and ability that business users need and can help ease the burden on IT for tasks like integration. On AppSource, business users can discover, find, and get business applications that work with Microsoft products and technology they already use, like Azure, Dynamics 365, Office 365, and more.

For more insight on the value of application marketplaces for your business, download the free Forrester study "Embrace a Business Application Marketplace to Drive Business Results" and take a moment to explore the more than 2,600 apps on AppSource to help you find the right apps for your business needs.