Shadow IT is on the rise in today’s digital economy; nearly every organization experiences it, in one form or another. The reality is, end-user employees are increasingly bypassing IT to find, research, and purchase the best technology to satisfy their needs. As innovative and advanced as these solutions and systems may be, if IT is not aware of these solutions on the network it can be disruptive and create hurdles in reaching overall business objectives.
Here are 5 ways that Shadow IT can cause major disruption in your organization:
Various shadow solutions and systems can create vast data gaps created by disparate services, especially when an organization is working to harness big data. When analyzing the data, these shadow systems can create an incomplete picture; IT will not have a macro view of the data. By outsourcing business functions as a service, it is hard for IT to harness the data as well. These inconsistencies can drive misunderstandings of the data gathered. Outsourced solutions are critical to the business because there is clearly a need for them, but they are not currently being provided.
Shadow IT solutions and systems are unauthorized by nature. Any compliance market with regulatory governances, like healthcare or the financial industry, is at risk with these solutions. Any organizations that align business processes associated with compliance and risk such as ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and/or COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology) are at very high risk of having shadow IT solutions that do not conform to these compliance-based standards.
With SaaS solutions being offered to every business unit in an organization comes incremental costs, many times in the form of a pay-as-you-go model. This leaves no visibility and predictability of costs. From the eyes of a CIO, even CFO, seeing unplanned and unpredictable IT costs coming from various business units is certainly alarming. As this adds up it can cause financial turmoil for any organization. To transition from expenses to time, time is money. The time an IT team is taking to manage and identify these shadow solutions affects their productivity and daily work functions.
When disparate solutions or systems are implemented into a production environment, this creates disparate workflows. On a micro level, shadow solutions can, in many cases, boost an individual’s productivity. However, on a macro level, it can reduce productivity and inhibit agility throughout an organization.
Every organization has a security posture, and shadow solutions can put that at risk. Originators of the Shadow system could be accessing, distributing and even leaving the organization with proprietary information and data. Shadow IT places proprietary information and data outside the purview and control of the organization. As stated in a study conducted by McAfee, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
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