Shadow IT still prevalent among UK workers

Shadow IT, or Stealth IT, is a practice still commonly used by European workers, according to a new Fuze report. It means employees are using either hardware or software that has not been directly approved of by the IT department, risking security breaches.

The report, entitled “App Generation report”, argues that 40 per cent of employees are using their personal devices for work. The same goes for software and apps.

The survey includes answers from 5,000 workers and 2,500 teens across Europe. Besides mobile phones, 32 per cent of workers in the UK use their own laptops for work, and 21 per cent use their own tablets.

Among software, 32 per cent are using instant messaging, 25 per cent use video-calling services and 21 per cent are using cloud storage.

“IT departments across Europe are faced with a stark choice –– improve business technology or expect to be cut out of the loop,” said Luca Lazzaron, Senior VP of International Operations for Fuze.

“Unlike the employees of ten or fifteen years ago, App Generation workers are not afraid to adopt their own technology. These are individuals who have grown up surrounded by laptops, iPhones and internet applications and the idea of installing an app to get something done comes naturally. IT departments do not represent security or consistency, they represent slow bureaucracies and unnecessary barriers.

According to Lazzaron, businesses need to accept these changes, and adapt to them in order to provide their workers with a safe and managed IT environment:

“Businesses need to accept the demands of the workforce are changing. This means providing the latest technologies that ensure young workers –– and in fact every employee –– can work in the way they want to, but within the safe confines of a secure, managed IT environment. Until this middle ground is achieved, IT departments will continue to be circumvented by the new generation.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Stefano Tinti