The Dangers and Advantages of Shadow IT

The Dangers and Advantages of Shadow IT

Shadow IT is the time period used for private applied sciences (BYOD), purposes and software program or providers supported by a third-party service supplier, relatively than a corporation’s IT supplier or expertise division.

Over the previous few years, Social, Cellular, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) applied sciences have been the principle drivers of innovation (and disruption). Cellular and cloud providers have given finish customers the flexibility to entry knowledge and carry out their work roles from nearly wherever. Consequently, enterprise purposes have moved from behind the safety of the corporate’s firewall to public Software program-as-a-Service (SaaS) options for every thing from accounting to human assets.

These expertise tendencies have additionally resulted within the “consumerization” of IT, the place finish customers have come to anticipate a quick, easy-to-use mobile-first expertise. These expectations could cause frustration with legacy applied sciences that will not work as properly for cell employees.

Finish customers gravitate in direction of the best answer. Why go and discover a work-related system when your telephone or pill is sitting in your desk? Because of Apple’s App Retailer and Google’s Play Retailer, staff have entry to hundreds of purposes that they’ll shortly set up and use to carry out their work capabilities, all exterior the perimeter of the community. So why is that this a difficulty?


There are some points at hand with Shadow IT. Customers opting out of their apps can open corporations as much as safety points, take them out of compliance with authorized pointers, and negatively influence different customers of their enterprise with out which means to. Listed here are among the methods Shadow IT can influence your small business:

Security – Unsupported {hardware} and software program will not be topic to the identical safety measures as supported applied sciences. With out the flexibility to observe and management software utilization, software program and purposes that embrace enterprise knowledge and combine with current enterprise purposes are liable to cyberattacks and malware infections. This results in wasted time, misplaced productiveness, misplaced income and misplaced status.

COMPATIBILITY – Governance and compliance dangers from Shadow IT are extraordinarily critical as delicate knowledge will be simply uploaded or shared. There are not any processes to make sure knowledge confidentiality or entry insurance policies if an worker shops company knowledge of their private DropBox or EverNote account. Violations ensuing from failure to adjust to compliance pointers can result in vital fines.

Workflows and processes – Applied sciences working with out an IT division’s information can negatively influence the consumer expertise of different staff by affecting bandwidth and creating conditions during which community or software program software protocols battle. Moreover, IT assist groups is probably not prepared with solutions or options when finish customers current issues with unsupported instruments. This slows down employees and places further pressure on IT.


For all of the dangers Shadow IT poses, it additionally carries the potential for rewards. New purposes can revolutionize processes and permit staff to work smarter and extra effectively. This requires a cautious stability between manageability and adaptability.

Most finish customers don’t equate the usage of sure purposes or units with excessive penalties. That is the place IT must be versatile and talk properly. As an alternative of telling finish customers that they’ll solely use one system for work, clearly describe what kind of information is OK to work with in unsupported purposes and what knowledge should stay safe in your community. supported. Make sure you establish permitted makes use of in your Acceptable Use Coverage.

The time has come to maneuver previous the denial section of Shadow IT, and communication is vital. Educating finish customers and offering clear, concise, and informative utilization pointers might help you create enforceable boundaries. Take time to grasp processes and worker wants. Analysis and deploy options that handle these wants, each present and future. This, mixed with a strong cloud and SaaS software technique, can maintain again your finish customers and knowledge.

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