What is Shadow IT you ask?
Shadow IT is simply defined as the cost of manual workarounds within an operating business.
Another way to describe Shadow IT is a bit more complex. It is defined as IT systems or solutions that are utilized by employees without the acknowledgment or approval of the business or IT department.
Security is important.
Some examples of Shadow IT are self-developed Excel spreadsheets or leveraging messaging tools such as Skype, Dropbox, Gmail for email or Google Docs as a form of content management. All of these leave companies at considerable risk from a security perspective as well as goes against their incessant need for controls and documentation.
There are plenty of negatives to Shadow IT inclusive of elongated business processes and ROI from other tools/applications already in-house not being realized.
Shadow IT can cause serious organizational dysfunction as well. Single employees creating these workarounds tend to do so with “job security” in mind. These practices within the company can cause management and accountability issues within a team and drive the alignment between business and IT further apart.
So what? Shadow IT affects every company.
That’s a fair statement, but its effects can be like a snowball and honestly, Shadow IT is low hanging fruit for IT to come to the table and identify innovative solutions to gain efficiency, re-establish control and increase business performance.
“In 2012, 77% of businesses were home to shadow cloud deployments, and 40% of these deployments resulted in the exposure of confidential data, according to a 2013 study by security firm Symantec Corp.,” says SearchCompliance.com.
As you can see, Shadow IT can cause a breach in data unbeknownst to the employees that are utilizing it. That is to be avoided at all costs.
So where should you start?
Begin by hiring a team like Trapp Technology to assess the current state of Shadow IT within your environment. We help you to understand Shadow ITs current effects on your business, processes, security threats and bottom line. We define ongoing process improvements, understand your progress with these improvements versus the timelines you established at the onset of the project and distinguish the dollars saved in the long run.
You can curb ongoing establishment of Shadow IT practices by adopting a governance structure aimed at empowering users to interface with IT or make decisions with reference architectures that maximize the integrity, security and ongoing ability of IT to deliver when called upon. At Trapp Technology, we are the experts in developing the governance structure to empower not only your users but your entire IT operations.
Call us today at 877.942.2568 to speak with one of our experts about how we can help you uncover the areas Shadow IT is affecting your business AND your bottom line.
Don’t wait, setup a complimentary appointment today. We look forward to working with you!