We all want the latest and greatest technology to work within our business but to conduct a complete roll out every time something changes would be costly and impact on operations plus, not everyone within the business has the same tech requirements. This is why many companies fall into the trap of having shadow IT, a system that plugs into the network or runs parallel to the network as an unauthorised trial or proof of concept.
Although these can prove very beneficial to the business, shadow IT systems can have a negative affect on several areas with the organisation.
- Information security governance – when creating shadow IT systems your current security governance procedures may not be relevant and therefore not adhered to by the people involved. Ensuring alignment of governance procedures will reduce the likelihood of deviating from your businesses strategies and objectives. Building in to information security governance plans procedures that create an environment to enable the transparency of trials will help reduce the risk of unauthorised access or data breaches.
- Data loss – with a shadow IT system, data backup may not occur, as the procedures are not in place for this to be achieved. Additionally, without the proper training and handover procedure in place, if the originators of the shadow IT system leaves the organisation, other staff may not be able to operate or manage the system correctly and if the system is not integrated into the broader network, this could lead to large volume data loss or leaks.
- Organisational inefficiencies – creating shadow IT systems may seem like an efficient way to conduct a trial of new software and equipment; however, it can be a barrier to innovation, blocking the establishment of more efficient work processes. These can also create performance bottlenecks and single points of failure when layered on top of existing systems.
With so many companies’ hell-bent on innovation and using the most up to date technology, the prevalence of shadow IT systems is on the rise.
For best results, it is important to undertake an impartial review of IT and governance procedures to ensure that a transparent and collaborative approach to trialling new equipment or software can occur in your business.
For further information on undertaking an impartial review of your IT system and governance procedures please do not hesitate to contact Agilient.