Should We Eliminate or Embrace Shadow IT?

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With cloud computing’s acceptance in business coupled with the ease of entry and setup with public cloud offerings, the terminology of Shadow IT has reemerged. Wikipedia defines Shadow IT as “a term often used to describe information-technology systems and solutions built and used inside organizations without explicit organizational approval”.

If the cloud initiated this reemergence, the Internet of Things (IOT) and the Bring Your Own Devise (BYOD) phenomenon’s have exacerbated it. When employees started bringing their mobile phones and tablets to the office they began integrating applications they used in their personal life to business. Likewise, Machine Learning (ML) applications have influenced corporate IT and its guidelines throughout the enterprise. Opponents say Shadow IT challenges the IT governance within the organization. What may appear to be a disadvantage to the IT department may be advantageous to the company. To follow are some of the advantages and disadvantages of shadow IT.

Advantages

  • Increased agility – departments within an organization can create their own IT resources without depending on the lag time and processes of the IT department.
  • Empowering employees – employees will be more productive when they feel they have the power to make decisions, including IT selections, on their own.
  • Increased creativity – putting the process of creating IT resources in the hands of the user often creates a better product and experience for that user.

Disadvantages

  • Security – Employees outside the IT department rarely consider security when implementing IT services.
  • Cost- When IT resources can be implemented at the employee level, as opposed to being purchased centrally, there will be wasted resources.
  • IT governance and compliance –Outside of the IT department, purchasers will not consider the regulatory concerns and governance. Processes and rules for IT need to be in place regardless if the resources are centrally implemented.

IT departments are not wrong to have contempt for the concept of Shadow IT. However, we believe they can learn to work with aspects of it. If a business can communicate across all departments and overcome the disadvantages listed above, we believe Shadow IT can be a win/win for the entire enterprise.

If you need assistance designing your evolution to the cloud or data center

please contact us at Jim Conwell (513) 227-4131      jim.conwell@twoearsonemouth.net      www.twoearsonemouth.net

 

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