Shadow IT is here to stay

Shadow IT, a practice of using unauthorised apps and services for business, is here to stay, despite the EU GDPR looming. Not only is it here to stay, but set for substantial growth.

Those are the conclusions of a new NTT Com report into the rapid rise of Shadow IT.

Investigating the trend, it said there were a couple of reasons Shadow IT is so prevalent in the business world nowadays:

  • It's more convenient and easier to use
  • IT approval processes too slow, or too 'draconian'

In order for an app to fall under the Shadow IT category, it has to be unimproved by the IT department. Just by being slow to react, the IT department places a lot of online usage into the category.

NTT Com also said the IT department is getting a nickname – The Ministry of No.

Apparently, the practice is widespread: 78 per cent of business decision makers said employees in their department are using cloud services without IT’s knowledge. Among 57 per cent of respondents, it’s happening in at least half of departments in their company, and 87 per cent believe its usage will only increase in the next two years.

More than half (56) also said they had no idea where the data was being stored.

“Our recommendation is that IT departments jettison the ‘Ministry of No’ approach and instead work with their business colleagues to understand why the shadow IT solutions they are currently using are better than those that the IT department can offer,” says Len Padilla, Vice President Product Strategy, NTT Europe.

“This consultative approach will enable organisations to get a full view of their IT estate. This will effectively create an amnesty with which to achieve compliance - while retaining the edge employees are looking for to carry out their jobs and ensure the success of the business.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Stefano Tinti