Here are two alarming findings: 70% of business users use tools outside of those licensed by their IT department for work purposes, and nearly 30% of IT departments don’t believe they have enough staff to function properly and keep shadow IT at bay by maintaining the pace with the urgent demand of business technology.
Considering these two facts, it’s no wonder that the interest in self-service IT is growing sharply among some business users, who want to choose their own digital tools at work instead of having to jump through countless hoops just to be productive.
Evolution, Not Revolution
Self-service IT for business users is far from being a revolutionary concept. From vending machines to ATM kiosks to self-service gas stations, technology has been unlocking self-service options for many decades, making daily living easier. As such, it was only a matter of time for self-service to play its role in the way organizations make IT tools, apps, and resources available to business users.
Adriaan Van Wyk, the CEO at K2, a business applications vendor that commissioned Harris Poll to survey more than 700 U.S. office workers, believes that we’re seeing a huge shift in the way enterprises define and enable efficiency. “It’s no longer about deploying uniform business solutions across departments, but rather letting go of the reins and allowing employees to discover and use independent solutions on their own.”
With self-service IT, organizations can focus on the maintenance of a single self-service IT kiosk that allows business users to log in and choose from a range of solutions that have been vetted for proper access, clearances, and security.
Is Now the Time for Self-Service IT?
By 2020, millennials are forecast to comprise 50% of the American workforce, with the number growing to 75% by 2025. Raised in a digital, media-saturated world, millennials are much more comfortable with technology than older generations, making them a great fit for self-service IT. Still, that hasn’t stopped some decision-makers from worrying whether users are really up to the new role. After all, it’s not such a long time ago when IT departments had to help users troubleshoot even the most basic computer problems.
“Some employees—particularly the younger members of the workforce—have an attitude of ‘give me access, and I’ll figure it out,’ but there are nuances to data that they may not realize,” Cindi Howson, founder of business intelligence consultancy BIScorecard, observes some of the potential pitfalls of self-service IT. “Some start out quite cavalier in their efforts, then get to a certain point and have to call for help.”
While valid, such concerns shouldn’t stop organizations from considering self-service IT because its benefits can outweigh them considerably. IT outsourcing, through leading providers like Vology, can also help business leaders free up critical technology resources to help get their hands around the multitude of requests for business tech, and create an infrastructure that works best for their organization.