Shadow IT – IT devices, software and services outside the ownership or control of IT – is growing. Whilst there are obvious disadvantages to this, organizations need to view it as a wake up call from employees who find their IT provisioning too slow and cumbersome to cope with the realities of their working lives.
From BYOD to new software, IT needs to look long and hard as to why this is happening in the first place before coming up with an answer that meets the needs of both the organization and end users.
Before looking at how shadow IT should be embraced, it is probably a good idea to examine the problems it brings.
Probably the main issue surrounds software licensing and compliance. Even with strong SAM procedures in place, shadow IT can introduce software that is unlicensed onto corporate devices. This leaves the organization at risk of audits and fines.
Further problems are caused because normally, new devices and software are thoroughly tested and piloted before being introduced across the organization. Shadow IT misses this necessary process out completely and so can have a negative impact on existing infrastructure.
Self-service is the way to overcome shadow IT
So, having looked at the negative side of shadow IT, it can seem impossible to see any benefits from it. As I said earlier, organizations really need to understand why shadow IT is happening to ensure they react in in the right way.
In the past the IT department was able to lock down the introduction of new hardware and software. Users had neither the know-how nor hardware/software to connect. Now, all this has changed. App stores like iTunes and Google Play enable your employees to browse, purchase, download and install software with just a few clicks. Similarly, devices like tablets and smartphones can be connected to your corporate network easily and quickly via wireless.
This flexibility is where the answer lies – self-service. By giving your employees the capability to choose and deploy the software and hardware they need to do their jobs (albeit with the necessary checks and signoffs), you will at a stroke remove the root cause of shadow IT whilst regaining control of what is deployed. What’s more by improving the service levels you give your end users you will be raising the profile and reputation of IT across the organization – a win-win situation.
Self-service corporate app stores, like AssetStudio App-Centre deliver the flexibility and ease-of-use that your employees want whilst at the same time providing the necessary controls and checks you need to ensure license compliance and infrastructure integration.
Find out more about how AssetStudio App-Centre can help your organization cope with shadow IT.