Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Caught! The Real Culprit of Shadow IT

There are some amazing SaaS options out there, so many that IT cannot be expected to find them all first

Once you learn the definition of shadow IT, it shouldn’t be too shocking to learn how widespread it is at companies large and small all over the world. I hate to assume, but the odds are, that you yourself have used a non-IT approved SaaS option for the same reason as everyone else, myself included. We’re all expected to do our jobs faster, and at a higher quality than we did in the past, and sometimes it’s just too easy to go behind the backs of those whom we perceive to slow us down, or act as a blocker.

A recent study showed that eighty percent of those polled admitted using SaaS applications and tools without IT’s approval, which, when you’re part of that eighty percent, isn’t all that shocking. The real kicker is the revelation of who has been using shadow IT SaaS solutions more than anyone.

IT employees themselves.

What’s their reasoning? “IT users feel they can handle the risk better.” That's...not really good enough.

Even as an occasional user of shadow IT myself (I’m trying to quit!) I am happy to see that not every article found online simply touts the ill-advised practice as out-of-control, or impossible to stop. In fact, now that we’ve all learned just how widespread the problem is, many are already well underway in finding a way to rein it in. And in what should relieve CIOs, security professionals, and others responsible for heeling shadow IT as soon as possible—the solution is shockingly simple.

Put a clear policy in place that lists the SaaS options that are allowed, and also formally states that if you’re using one that is not listed, particularly those that are discovered to put you and your customers’ data at risk—this is a real problem.

But how do you know which ones to allow? Not only is this easy, it’s healthy for the culture of your business. Speak with those employees who are using shadow IT, and who have come to rely on these apps to do their job. Let them explain why they chose this or that option, and why the non-shadowy options prohibit them from doing their jobs, or more importantly, from innovating and helping take the company to the next level.

Many of the applications that employees are secretly utilizing probably aren’t a security threat, and like we learned earlier, I’d be willing to bet that many of them are also being used by IT employees as well as others. But as McAfee Asia-Pacific CTO Sean Duca explains, it’s the “shadow” aspect that’s ultimately “bad for business.”

With shadow IT usage being so rampant, across multiple departments, employees aren’t turning to these non-approved options out of laziness, or spite. It’s because IT doesn’t have the time to fully vet every SaaS option out there. Speak with employees to learn what’s helping them do their jobs. Make this an opportunity, as Duca suggests, to “be more open and candid,” to increase the collaboration and communication between departments, and so that “companies can consider purchasing the products so they could be used securely from inside their organizations.”

There are some amazing SaaS options out there, so many that IT cannot be expected to find them all first. But when a new option comes along, especially one that helps you innovate better and faster—don’t leave it in the shadows and put your job or your company at risk. If it’s as great of a solution as you think it is, get it approved, and perhaps even more of your company can benefit and innovate from it than just yourself.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Skytap Blog

Author: Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, customers release better software faster. In this blog, we publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

CloudEXPO Stories
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure for today even as you're forecasting for tomorrow.
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leading global enterprises use Isomorphic technology to reduce costs and improve productivity, developing & deploying sophisticated business applications with unprecedented ease and simplicity.
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.