It’s hard to conjure up an image of ’IT’ lurking in the shadows waiting to metaphorically mug you, but that’s exactly what’s happening and it’s almost certainly happening to you. You just don’t know about it yet.
With the rapid rise of the cloud, it’s now so simple to start using new software, IT departments are side-stepped. And so IT happens in the ’shadows’, out of the sight of IT professionals whose job it is to ensure IT works and is secure.
And the problem is worse than you might imagine. Cisco carried out a study to find out how many cloud services are actually in use and it was 25 times more than the figure IT departments were aware of.
Most of the time, shadow IT is innocuous and intended to solve a problem. But without due consideration of potential risks, that helpful little piece of software can cause major problems, enough to bring companies to their knees.
It doesn’t matter if the Marketing Department stores customer data in a CRM without considering Data Protection Laws. Or if someone in Finance uses unsecure public cloud storage to save spreadsheets so they can work at home.
What matters is that Shadow IT opens the door to security, continuity and legal compliance issues.
In reality most companies will never suffer anything catastrophic as a result of Shadow IT. But the risk is always there and with a little care and engagement with your colleagues, you can pull IT into the light and never worry about dark corners again.