Information Workers Build Their Own Software

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[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

A recent survey from QuickBase, a unit of Intuit, found that nearly one in five information workers at mid-size to large enterprises have built or customized a Web application or software for work purposes on their own. These DIYers are passionate and motivated to help their teams, and the majority feels their employers should recognize their contributions. Nearly six in 10 – a total of 58 percent– believe their employers should recognize their efforts in the form of financial compensation. However, among DIYers whose companies explicitly do not support their independent efforts, the percentage increases to 71 percent.

Recognition need not be monetary. “A little recognition can go a long way,” said Allison Mnookin, vice president and general manager of Intuit QuickBase. “Supporting and recognizing DIY efforts – no matter how you do it – pays off.

“You’re motivating and rewarding employees who go above and beyond their job descriptions, make their teams more efficient, and solve problems for their companies. Endorsing and celebrating internal innovation can fuel its rapid spread throughout the organization.”

Other forms of recognition respondents found rewarding include publicizing their solutions internally (33 percent) and getting promoted (25 percent).

DIYers Are Pervasive in Select Industries

Computer and IT services firms have the highest percentage of DIY information workers, the survey found, with 62 percent of respondents reporting they have built or customized apps for work. Conversely, these firms are not necessarily empowering their workers to create their own solutions – either by providing the required tools or authorizing employees to find and use their own. In fact, 43 percent of the DIYer population at computer and IT service firms said they are not empowered by their organizations.

Professional services companies reported the second-highest amount of DIYers at 53 percent. And their employees are more likely to feel free to act on their own. A total of 61 percent of the DIYer population said they were empowered by their companies to innovate on their own, the highest among all industries. Professionals in consultancy roles are constantly driven to solve client problems and this data indicates they likely nurture that innovative mentality amongst their employees.

The financial services and insurance industries, where tight IT controls and deep-seated work processes are commonplace, have the highest percentage of non-empowered DIYers. At the same time, however, 43.5 percent still create their own solutions.

Industry Total % of DIYers % Empowered % Non-empowered
Computer & IT Services 62.3 57.1 42.9
Professional Services 53.0 61.1 38.9
Manufacturing 51.4 50.0 50.0
Financial Services & Insurance 43.5 41.1 58.9

“DIYers create lasting value companies should love. Endorsement from management propels the success of DIY solutions even further,” Mnookin added.

In fact, 85 percent of apps created by empowered DIYers are still being used within their organization or team, while non-empowered workers see sustained adoption rates of 77 percent for their solutions.

Intuit and Global Strategy Group surveyed more than 900 information workers at companies with more than 100 employees in October 2011, investigating whether they felt empowered to solve customer and work process problems on their own. The survey also asked whether employees were sanctioned by corporate IT departments to use technologies of their choice to do so.

[Image Courtesy: Intuit]