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Shadow IT:

How to deal with this in your organization?


Shadow IT – devices, software, services – not sanctioned by or in control of your centralized IT department. Businesses increasingly experience this “Bring Your Own Technology” trend. “Approximately 12% of employees in Europe engage in self-service data preparation using various spreadsheet software” (IDC Survey commissioned by Alteryx, Nov. 2017). These unauthorized services increase risks of data breaches and financial liabilities. “Most organizations underestimate the number of shadow IT applications in use”, WEM Expert Vincent Martini argues. “No code Platform WEM is a win-win for both IT and business users”.

The drivers behind Shadow IT
Employees – or business (process) experts – know their business and their business needs best themselves. With agility being top of mind of business users, and aiming to improve effectivity and efficiency, business applications are required to change in line with the everchanging environment. Immediately, not in a year or so. Due to time and/or budget constraints, IT departments are not always able to (immediately) service these employee requirements. Another reason: IT might not be sure about the safety of the program the employee wants.

Frustrated with the slow reaction speed of their IT departments, and with many IT solutions to be found online nowadays: business users increasingly take matters in own hands. “Shadow IT” is created.

Shadow IT risks: Security and Compliance
With business users turning to IT solutions unauthorized by the IT department, the IT department logically has no influence on this. Resulting in uncertainty regarding the safety of programs and devices used. It may seem innocent to store sensitive business information in the cloud. However, if the cloud service in question is not concerned about security, the organization runs a big risk.

Another issue is compliance. Rules concerning the storage of data are becoming stricter – take the GDPR, which will be enforced coming May 25th. With shadow IT, it is no longer clear for the IT department whether their organization complies with the laws and regulations. Moreover, if a data leak occurs, it is almost impossible to trace the data it concerns and its source.

WEM as a win-win for IT and business
A balance must be found between enabling employees to use what they need to make their business activities run smoothly and for IT to exert control over the applications in place. “Businesses will always be dealing with shadow IT, until a suitable alternative is found”, Martini summarizes.

WEM is a win-win for IT and business: “The product can be picked up by any user that understands business processes, with the training time required to start handling the WEM environment averaging two to three weeks”. These business-critical applications are stored in a secure cloud, are easily merged with existing systems, can be accessed from any location and device, and personalized by employees, based on their role within the organization (IDC Technology Spotlight, Dec. 2017). With WEM, business users can create exactly what they need in a controlled environment quickly, but in a safe way.

Sources:
IDC Advanced Spreadsheet Users Survey in Europe, Commissioned by Alteryx, November 2017

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