Shadow IT can deliver real value to an organisation; it can reduce the load on the IT department, letting lines of business achieve their goals quickly. However, understanding which projects are right for a Shadow IT approach, and which present risk, is not always clear. Complex projects, such as those requiring integration with other databases and applications, and those involving sensitive data should be delivered by the IT department. The challenge comes when the IT department is overburdened and unable to deliver applications on time.
Unchecked, Shadow IT can pose myriad risks. Application usage can spread to greater numbers of users than intended, and performance can be crippled. There can also be a need to integrate Shadow IT developed apps with existing systems over time. This can be hard to execute outside of IT’s control. In addition, data usage by Shadow IT apps can violate privacy laws and sensitive data can be leaked.
Gartner’s 2017 Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit in London highlighted a 2015 Cisco study indicating that Companies are using up to 15 times more cloud services to store critical company data than CIOs were aware of or had authorized. Supporting that claim, an NTT report in April 2016 indicated that 77% of business decision makers admitted to using a third-party cloud application without the approval or knowledge of their IT department.
With Gartner estimating that by 2020, one third of successful attacks on enterprises will be through Shadow IT doors, LANSA believes that it is imperative that organisations both tackle the pressures that prevent them from delivering the applications the business needs though formal channels, and create formal guidelines for projects developed outside of the IT department’s control.
“Many IT departments are struggling to deliver mobile applications, get cloud-ready or drive other digital transformation initiatives. In parallel, a significant percentage of their time is spent on maintenance and support. Inevitably an application backlog accumulates, and Shadow IT is often the business response. Line mangers, puzzled at the delays and costs quoted by IT, do what they believe is right for their own area of the business. Shadow IT solutions seem to offer an answer, but managers don’t always appreciate the risks or complexity involved,” said Martin Fincham, CEO at LANSA.
“Our new free consulting service will help organisations find a way to deliver applications faster, using fewer resources, by using LANSA’s Low-Code solutions. We want to help to stop IT being viewed as the department of ‘No.’ It is another tool in the armoury to help IT maintain its position as a key driver for growth, rather than an obstacle to it.”