Is Shadow IT a Bad Thing?

Dateline: August 21, 2015

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

IT managers hate shadow IT, or the purchase and management of IT services by business users outside of the IT organization.  Why? Because, they think, users just don’t know what they are doing when it comes to managing enterprise IT.  Often, after purchasing their app, cloud service or other externally provided IT service, they whine about how their new service doesn’t interface properly with corporate services.  Worse, they expect IT to fix it.

But is shadow IT always a bad thing?  Recently Forbes contributor Joe McKendrick blogged about the benefits of shadow IT in his column, Is Shadow IT A Runaway Train, or An Innovation Engine?  He writes,

The rise of shadow IT may actually inject a healthy dose of innovative thinking into organizations, at a time they need it most. The ability to test new approaches to business problems, and to run with new ideas, is vital to employees at all levels. If they are encumbered by the need for permissions, or for budget approvals to get to the technology they need, things will get mired down. Plus, shadow IT applications are often far cheaper than attempting to build or purchase similar capabilities through IT.

What is the role of shadow IT in your organization?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a fantastic weekend.

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