Why Shadow IT is an Opportunity Rather Than a Threat
With cloud computing and bring-your-own-device policies becoming more and more common in workplaces, IT departments cannot avoid discussing shadow IT and its implications any longer. Shadow IT refers to the use of information-technology solutions that have not been explicitly approved by the IT department of an organization.
While many IT departments view shadow IT as a huge threat, this phenomenon has the potential to be an opportunity rather than a menace. Here are some of the many advantages of shadow IT.
Shadow IT Can Increase Employee Productivity
One huge advantage of stealth IT is that it has the potential to help an organization’s employees maximize their productivity and efficiency.
Believe it or not, employees don’t simply use unsanctioned solutions and technology to get the IT department in a huff or simply because they can. In most cases, employees partake in stealth IT in hopes of improving their performance and productivity. This usually indicates that the sanctioned technology doesn’t have the features or raw power necessary to help employees get the job done as best they can.
Therefore, instead of outright banning unsanctioned technology upon discovery, IT departments should take the time to evaluate strengths of the technology. This may lead IT departments either to make improvements to sanctioned technology or to approve new technology.
Shadow IT Grants Greater Freedom to Employees
Creativity and innovation thrives in spaces where freedom is a given right rather than a privilege. Accordingly, it is in the best interest of organizations to give their employees as much freedom as they possibly can. One way organizations can do this by allowing their employees to use any tools or solutions they would like.
Among employees, IT departments tend to have a bad reputation for being very restrictive and even dictatorial. While this rep does not apply to many IT departments, it does apply to some. While imposing many restrictions on the actions of employees can make the life of those in the IT department easier, it can stifle innovation and ingenuity.
Dealt with correctly, stealth IT can facilitate new creations and innovations within an organization.
Shadow IT Reduces the Workload for IT
Believe it or not, shadow IT has the potential to reduce the workload for an IT department significantly. In the vast majority of companies, the IT department is burdened with excessive amounts of work. This is because the IT department is charged with dealing with tech issues and keeping all the technology for the organization running smoothly. If shadow IT is prohibited, the IT department also has to deal with requests from employees for new requests.
Shadow IT allows end users to find or create new solutions for themselves. Therefore, shadow IT has the potential to make life easier for those in the IT department.
As you can see, there are many advantages of shadow IT. While the security threat that shadow IT poses to organizations is real, this does not mean it should be prohibited completely. If managed correctly, shadow IT has the potential to be an opportunity rather than a threat to an organization.