Overcome Your Shadow IT Struggles

Posted By:  By Bill Ferrato , Vice President, Presidio
Posted Date: 

“Shadow IT” is a major concern for organizations of all sizes. The term refers to efforts by members within an organization to acquire and manage their own IT resources.  In the early days of networks, this might have involved bringing in an unauthorized technology to create a personal Wi-Fi network.  The primary danger lay in that this technology was not under management of IT and thus could unintentionally expose the company’s network and digital assets.

Today, Shadow IT is an even bigger problem for businesses . For example, in some cases employees are securing cloud resources to run applications and may be uploading sensitive data to an unprotected cloud.  This creates serious security issues for organizations.  Employees are also likely paying a premium for these resources by buying them piecemeal.  In addition, resources are not used as efficiently as they might be if shared between different departments.

Mandating and policing against Shadow IT activity has only limited effect.  Many organizations have clear policies on how IT resources are to be obtained through a centralized department.  Yet employees still work around these policies, for a variety of reasons:

  • Time-to-market: In some companies, the processes involved in securing IT resources  can create barriers to engaging with IT.  Now compare that to going to the web with a company credit and getting access to resources in a few minutes.
  • Flexibility: Not all IT organizations are able to offer all the services the business believes it needs. By comparison, there are public cloud or managed service available for nearly every business need.
  • Cost: How much overhead do your organization add your company’s overall IT cost?  Employees are often focused more on their own bottom line.  So while consolidating cloud services through IT might be less expensive for your company, it may be a more expensive line item compared to a department going direct to a cloud provider.
The key to overcoming "Shadow IT" is to acknowledge and address the reasons why members of your organization might go around IT policies.  

With the right cloud solutions and cloud providers, IT can provide resources faster, with the right options, and at a lower cost.  You can become the broker of cloud services your organization depends on, so no one has a reason to look outside. Hybrid Cloud has become the default cloud strategy for most organization to evolve because it has the ability to provide the right kind of service delivery economics that meets clients requirements.

Learn more about how Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.