What is the general industry position on issues surrounding local application development? By this I mean situations where employees working outside of the core IT department are developing local applications and productivity tools with software such as Attachmate Extra and VBA. The principal use of these tools is to provide for interfaces, not yet available in the corporate mainframe applications, which facilitate the interaction between the front-line employee and various corporate databases.
If the end-users of these tools have the ability to develop tools to enable them to be more productive while interacting with the mainframe and supported applications, in general this is seen as a positive gain toward re-engineering the applications. I would recommend, however, that these home-grown applications be used as prototypes for the interface design of a corporate standard. Many enterprises do not support anything that does not fit under the approved sanctions of a corporate standard. And it should be an understanding that any applications not rolled out by the IT staff may be shutdown if it causes problems on the network and should not require support or helpdesk resources if problems occur. Blanket statements about non-standard applications should be part of every IT organizations commitment to the end-users and communicated to them to set reasonable expectations.
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