What happens when employees feel that the IT department is not being innovative enough to fulfilling their needs? Employees may become less innovative and inefficient in their duties, but with the pressures of performing on today's workplace, they tend to find solutions elsewhere. This is why shadow IT is quickly growing as an alternative solution.
When technology is implemented by an individual or team without the approval of the IT team it is shadow IT. For example, an entire department may decide to use a different cloud computing environment from the rest of the organisation without the knowledge and approval of the IT department. While this bears several risks, it also has the potential of bringing innovation and efficiency when encouraged and handled properly. Furthermore, it is projected that shadow IT will grow in future and businesses thus have to find ways of harnessing its potential.
Security is a major risk when it comes to shadow IT. This is because storing sensitive data can be detrimental to a business if it gets in the wrong hands. In addition, implementation of shadow IT may also be a violation of compliance regulations. Businesses may also incur huge losses if departments unknowingly purchase applications performing the same task. There can also be issues with cross-platform compatibility.
Since shadow IT has the potential to enhance efficiency and bring innovation, the IT Department needs to take the role of an advisor rather than controlling purchasing solutions. This will ensure each department has a solution that incorporates its individual needs. An IT Department is better placed to offer information and advice on the available solutions, thereby minimizing the risk associated with shadow IT.
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