Shadow IT – What is it?

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outsourced computer supportThe term “Shadow IT” is used to describe IT systems and solutions that are implemented within an organisation but don’t have official planning and approval behind them.

The pace of technological change and easy availability of many “off the shelf” solutions, is leading both individuals and whole departments to implement IT solutions themselves, without going through their IT team.

Until recently many managers and IT professionals have seen the rise of shadow IT as an alarming trend that introduces both security and control issues to an organisation. However with a recent survey by Brocade finding as many as 83% of CIOs reporting some level of unauthorised access to a cloud service, it is not a trend that is going to go away.

A better approach than simply ignoring it or trying to stamp down, is for the IT department to concern themselves with setting the parameters for adoption and controlling the business critical applications and data rather than trying to police every single IT spend.

If IT teams concentrate on approving the basic technology and applications and define a methodology, they can actually improve an organisation’s speed of implementation by turning over the method and building blocks to the client team to put in place.

For sensitive data, businesses must grade the security risk and concentrate their efforts where it matters most, as this is the key area that self-implementing teams will potentially create the biggest problems.

Security questions the need to be answered will include:

  • determining if the new solution will need to integrate its data with your main company systems.
  • will it contain, store and archive key critical company information?
  • how secure is this environment in which it will operate?

This Shadow IT development is most likely happening now, within your own organisation, so it needs to be understood and managed. IGC Technical Solutions can help you build a framework that is secure but also lets your business find IT solutions quickly when needed.

Please give us a call for an initial discussion on how we can help develop your business’s IT infrastructure.

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