61% Of Businesses Created Shadow IT Mobile App In 2015

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3rd Annual Canvas Mobile Business App survey indicates growing comfort with Shadow IT; mobile apps delivering productivity, cost, compliance benefits

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61% of organizations created a mobile business app in 2015 without any involvement from the IT department, according to Canvas’ 3rd Annual Mobile Business Application survey of business and IT decision makers - indicating that organizations increasingly view Shadow IT as an opportunity to drive workforce innovation and cost management. The survey also finds mobile business apps improving business productivity, generating cost savings and ensuring compliance.

The Canvas 2015 survey of nearly 400 decision makers from a broad range of company sizes and industries examined how rapidly businesses are shifting from paperwork and outdated processes to cloud-based platforms. The ability of mobile apps to rapidly improve the bottom line and boost top line performance is changing perspectives on Shadow IT – broadly defined as applications and solutions built within an organization that the IT department is either unaware of or has not officially sanctioned.

Key Survey Findings:

Employees are creating apps without IT involvement in greater numbers, and businesses are more comfortable with them doing so. The survey finds:

  • 61% of businesses created a new mobile app in 2015 without any IT involvement, and for these businesses that developed apps with no IT support, a whopping one-fifth developed ten or more apps.
  • 81% of businesses are very comfortable or somewhat comfortable building mobile apps without any help from the IT team.
  • The availability of off-the-shelf applications and cloud services are greatly easing the mobile app build process: 76% of those surveyed were able to create a cloud-based app in one day or less.

“Innovation is occurring at such a rapid pace in the enterprise that employees do not want to wait around for overwhelmed IT departments, and plug and play cloud services are in effect transforming everyday employees into Citizen Developers,” said James Robins, CMO at Canvas. “The survey suggests that business decision makers and IT departments recognize this evolution, and are shifting their perspective of Shadow IT from a perceived liability to an invaluable tool for rapid innovation and cost management.”

Of those tracking cost savings, 31% said that mobile business apps saved their organization at least $10,000 in 2015. Other key findings:

  • 64% of respondents said that mobile business apps have improved their compliance processes
  • 92% said their organization has become more productive after adopting mobile business apps
  • Two-thirds said mobile business apps saved their organization 5 or more hours of employee time per week

The survey indicates businesses are creating more cloud-based mobile apps, and that greater app usage is also impacting mobile device purchasing decisions:

  • A majority (55%) of businesses said that using mobile business apps have led them to purchase and deploy tablets to their workforce in the past year.
  • 25% of businesses used at least 10 mobile business apps in 2015, an increase of 5 percentage points from the prior year. Furthermore, 41% used more than 5 mobile business apps in 2015, up from 33% in 2014.
  • When it comes to the forms and processes that businesses most frequently used mobile apps for last year, survey respondents listed inspections (57%), checklists (43%), work/service orders (35%), audits (24%), logs (23%), other (19%), surveys (17%), estimates (10%), invoices (9%) and waivers (3%).

The survey of Canvas customers, conducted December 16-23, 2015, included companies from a broad range of industries and sizes. Of the respondents, 24% were from businesses with 500+ employees; 16% were from businesses with 101-499 employees; 19% worked at organizations with 26-100 employees; and 41% hailed from small businesses with 25 employees or less.

About Canvas
Canvas is changing how companies collect and use business information through their cloud-based software service and mobile app platform. With customizable apps for smartphones and tablets, Canvas empowers businesses to replace expensive and inefficient paperwork and outdated processes, requiring no programming or IT. Canvas enables businesses to collect information using mobile devices, share that information and easily integrate with existing backend systems. Canvas also offers the first mobile business application store of its kind, allowing businesses from diverse industries to find mobile forms specific to their needs. To learn more, visit http://www.goCanvas.com.

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Brian Lustig
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