Without a doubt one of the biggest challenges that corporate IT are facing today is the impact of “Shadow IT” within the enterprise. If you’re not familiar with the term (or the problem), what we mean by “Shadow IT” is the consumption of computing services, whatever those services may be, outside of the control of IT. I think that there are a number of contributing factors that are causing this shift in how IT is being used by the business:
Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device
Having been an individual in a large enterprise I know first hand how important this is. Individuals expect to be able to access their corporate data from any device, from any location and at anytime. If IT doesn't provide that capability the individual will find new tools (like Dropbox) to meet their requirements. As employees people are expected to be available, so they need their data to be available too.
New Cloud based applications are designed to have less emphasis on technical capability, and more emphasis on simplicity and ease of use. Not only that but the individuals themselves are becoming more “Tech Savvy” as technology plays more and more of a role in everyday life.
Devices Are Cloud Connected
Technology encroaches on every aspect of our lives, with Cloud connected TV’s and cars, to smartphones and tablets, to GPS tracking for pets. Smart devices are Cloud connected by default, in many cases integrating collaboration and data sharing app’s. It makes sharing of data and the use of integrated Cloud services easier to consume on the fly as an individual and as groups within a business with no sign of IT.
Consumable By Nature
Cloud services and SaaS platforms in particular are consumable by nature - they’re designed for users/individuals to get access to new leading edge application sets and infrastructure platforms without the need for IT intervention. They’re generally low cost without the need for extended contract negotiation as they can be turned on and off, up and down, at will. It gives individuals, lines of business and projects access to brand new technologies at high speed and low cost - something that IT has traditionally not been able to do. IT has often be seen as an inhibitor, the guys that just say no. Previously as an individual you didn't have a choice but to accept that but that’s no longer the case.
At last years Gartner CIO symposium, one of the leading analysts made a very valid point, that the majority of new technologies (such as Cloud services, BYOD, gamification and the use of social media) that have had a meaningful impact on businesses have not been driven or introduced voluntarily by IT departments. Despite that fact it hasn't slowed their uptake within businesses.
By focussing on acting as an enabler, IT can gain new skill sets and deliver more value to the businesses that they serve, the adoption (and therefore the benefits) of these technologies can be accelerated. IT needs to embrace these new technologies, to provide the user population to consume services and be more flexible about how they do their job within a governance framework.
Nephos Technologies give our customers the opportunity to leverage public, private and hybrid Cloud services in a simple and controlled way. We're also working other technologies that can help you provide the flexibility of file sync and share platforms like Dropbox but within a framework that IT can control. If you’d like to find out more then please contact us on [email protected]