I think that part of being a productive employee in the 21st century is finding online services and mobile appps to meet your needs that are not met by the IT department’s standard offerings. Since Internet service and a modern browser are typically standard offerings, this opens up a whole world of offerings. Browsing simplespark.com gives you a sense for the IT services that are available.
Using web based services is not the same as asking the IT department to install software on corporate devices. That ultimately creates a support burden on the IT department. People don’t understand why we don’t want to buy and install their $100 application. It isn’t the $100. These are the things that IT managers hate about one-off software installs:
- we need to reinstall that ap every time we upgrade or fix the user’s PC.
- the help desk team members need to have knowledge of the applications when they call the user
- in a short period of time we will get a call telling us the software version is no longer supported and we need to purchase the upgrade, convert the data and train the user
But more importantly, locally installed software is increasingly unneccessary as Software as a Service (SaaS) makes everything accessible from the browser. Our corporate QuickBase account gives our user base a simple but powerful way to meet many of their needs for dabases and basic workflow. This is why our employees have created over 7,000 applications. This is 7,000 times that employees were able to meet their own needs instad of requesting software and services from IT.
One of my favorite web-based services is Toodledo. Toodledo.com is a web based to do list (there are iPhone and iPad apps) to. I like it betther than Outlook tasks. I like the usability and there are some cool features like automatic prioritization based upon due date and prioirty. Mostly I like that I can access it anywhere without launching a Citrix session. This is important becuse I use it to manage my work tasks and my personal life too. I use the paid version because it allows me to store attachments with my tasks. But the free version is impressive.