Should You Be Worried about Shadow IT? | TechWell

Should You Be Worried about Shadow IT?

If there is one thing IT professionals—especially those involved with security—like, it is control: control of software, hardware, firewalls, and any other thing attached physically or electronically to the network. However, we all know that shadow IT exists, which means IT professionals don’t have complete control like they used to. What we don’t agree on is the danger—or lack thereof—it creates. Let’s try to find some answers.

A document on McAfee.com offers a deep dive into why shadow IT has become so popular and prevalent. From the “everyone does it” argument to the lack of SaaS policies and employees wanting to get the job done, the authors expose shadow IT and the dangers it poses to your organization. So, is shadow IT always a bad thing? Remember, bring your own device (BYOD) is another form of shadow IT, and companies are embracing this phenomenon.

Several websites have quoted the study I referenced on McAfee.com as the definitive truth on shadow IT. But are there any dissenters who say shadow IT is OK? 

On CIO.com a writer, although he may not approve of shadow IT, offers a few insightful ways to bring shadow IT under control. At least this is an admission that it can be controlled for your organization's greater benefit.

An article on NetworkWorld.com looks at how innovation is making shadow IT sound like a good thing for some organizations. At one point in the article, the writer goes as far as to say that shadow IT should be not only controlled but embraced. Another expert in the same article says that “IT has lost its grip on technology, so we either embrace the new reality or we’ll fail.” 

The theme of shadow IT seems to be that IT has failed to provide and meet the customer’s needs; therefore the customers will find a way to get the technology they need. Another article points out that there are costs and benefits to shadow IT; additionally, the author discusses the fact that there may be short-term benefits but long-term repercussions of groups going it alone without IT.

So where does that leave us? We have an issue in IT. We can’t provide the services quickly enough for business, but we can’t allow business to go its own way.

What do you do about shadow IT at your workplace?

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