Shadow IT, information-technology systems and solutions built and used inside organizations without explicit organizational approval, can be lurking in any company’s infrastructure. In today’s modern cloud era with easy-to-leverage applications and devices, the IT department —or you, as an IT solutions provider — can very easily lose control. The days of dictating what employees can and cannot use for mobile devices and applications are largely over. Fundamentally, preventing shadow IT is about creating a sense of change in how the IT team is viewed within the organization. If the IT team can be viewed as a partner in helping employees to be more productive and keeping them safe from external and internal threats, there is less incentive to work around them.
As the workspace culture changes, the goals for IT also need to change to ensure that employees and IT departments continue to work together effectively. Rather than focusing on control, IT should turn its focus toward enablement. Employees today are independently searching for ways to more effectively do their jobs. They are looking for anything from a particular type of device that can help them work faster to applications that streamline their daily tasks. Often, employees aren’t asking for permission to utilize these solutions but are moving forward on their own, opening the company up to security risks. In these situations, IT should be working to change the culture in an effort to assist employees by helping them implement the appropriate solutions more quickly and efficiently — but ultimately more securely.
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