Shadow IT is a very real issue facing businesses of all sizes today, says OneLogin’s VP of Product David Meyer in a recent contributed byline article titled “Shutting Down Shadow IT Stifles Innovation” in Fresh Business Thinking, a leading online resource for business owners, directors and entrepreneurs. Many of today’s millennial workers are bringing cloud applications into the workplace with IT often ignorant of their existence. In fact, as little as 8 percent of both small and large IT companies can say they have a good understanding of the number of unmanaged cloud apps used internally by their organization. More apps expose more data, and the IT department struggles to remain compliant.
Although the desire to control applications isn’t going to disappear any time soon, it shouldn’t restrict the innovation Shadow IT can bring to organizations who are willing to embrace it. To attract and retain tomorrow’s workforce, organizations must adopt innovative technologies which support mobile working. By allowing loosely managed innovation, new solutions that will benefit the wider business can be found.
So how can IT empower the business while protecting corporate data? In order to take the worry out of embracing new applications, the IT department should embrace solutions such as Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), multi-factor authentication and user provisioning, which will allow them to keep the benefits but eliminate the risk. Allowing employees to freely use applications not only minimizes the drain on IT resources but increases productivity and employee engagement, which helps the business, and also helps the business compete for talent.
With this in mind, organizations must ensure they embrace the many beneficial aspects of Shadow IT (empowering employees), while empowering IT teams to ensure these new systems are secure and compliant. With systems such as Identity and Access Management in place, harmony can be achieved between these needs, combining business speed with operational excellence.