Categories: Tech

What Is Shadow IT? – Definition and How to Deal With This Problem?

Within an IT company or an IT area of ​​any segment. There may be practices that are outside the manager’s knowledge. Thus, it is necessary that he learns about such activities. And together with the team. He can reach a consensus on the activities that may or may not be part of a formal way in the daily life of the company.Throughout this article, you will understand what Shadow IT is?, its risks, and how to deal with this issue in the best possible way within the organization.

What is Shadow IT?

Synonymous with invisible IT, Shadow IT consists of services, software, and devices that are used without the knowledge of the administrator of information technology resources.

Instead of technology, the practice can be understood as a behavior. Although some services and solutions do not have an express authorization for use. Such tools can become useful, as they contribute to greater productivity. After all, requesting authorization to test any tool can plague companies.

Given a reality in which the infrastructure is unable to fully meet the demands of the most diverse sectors, Shadow IT becomes an escape valve for being an instrument that offers alternative solutions using the software in the cloud.

Shadow IT Examples

A practice that configures Shadow IT is the use of some cloud service as a task manager, agendas, project management, Dropbox, among others. The use of non-institutional e-mail to exchange confidential company information and the development of parallel solutions are also part of invisible IT, and endanger the confidential data of the company and its customers.

What are the Risks Involve in Shadow IT?

Professionals who tend to evade security rules and requirements tend to pose risks to the company. Security and connectivity failures can happen due to the installation of unauthorized systems. Despite the dangers, professionals end up contributing to the resolution of company and customer problems when they choose “more agile methods.”

The inadvertent use of invisible IT can have a ripple effect on the organization. If IT starts using applications without the knowledge of those who manage the sector, the tendency is for other sectors to adopt the practice, increasing the risks related to security.

Another problem is that Shadow IT withdraws investments from the IT sector. According to a Gartner forecast, made in 2011, 35% of the investments would be made outside the IT budget. In the long run, these out-of-budget expenditures can be quite detrimental to a company.

How is it Possible to Deal with Shadow IT in Companies?

For a visualization of the company’s parallel infrastructure, an IT audit would be the first step. Subsequently, it is necessary to discover what led that particular sector to adopt a parallel solution. Some lessons of action that can be taken, such as:

  • network monitoring assists in faster detection of invisible IT practices;
  • use tools for asset management and software licensing;
  • seek solutions that take into account a better cost-benefit and security;
  • improvement of the non-parallel solution;
  • bring parallel solutions to formality;
  • instruct professionals in the most appropriate use.

Why is it Important to Deal with Shadow IT?

Those responsible for the IT sector need full knowledge of unauthorized practices within the company. They should listen to employees about the use of the tools that configure Shadow IT.

In this way, they will be able to know which services and applications can be incorporated into the organization’s routine, as well as make employees aware of the company’s security policies, and the consequences of non-compliance with these policies.

In general, Shadow IT can be seen not as a threat but as a means of providing improvements in customer service. And in the flow of activities within the company. However, it is necessary to identify the vulnerabilities related to this practice in order to mitigate the risks related to the security of the organization’s information.

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