The Top 5 Benefits of

Reducing Shadow IT

The Top 5 Benefits of Reducing Shadow IT

You may think Shadow IT isn’t impacting your organization but we can say with almost complete certainty that it is. Shadow IT is always lurking and it poses a serious threat to your compliance, financial well-being, and security. From personal devices to something as seemingly harmless as an app download, it can creep in and harm your organization.

If you really think about it, however, do you actually know where it is? Most organizations don’t know exactly where to look for Shadow IT which is why it is so important to understand the potential causes. Once you understand where to look for it, you’ll be able to start your journey towards reduction. Keep reading as we break down the deeper causes and the benefits of reducing Shadow IT.

Top 5 Benefits of Reducing Shadow IT

As you begin to reduce the amount of Shadow IT within your organization, you’ll soon realize that there are more upsides than you were initially aware of. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of reducing Shadow IT:

1. Data Consolidation

Shadow IT is created by employees who have downloaded programs and processes unbeknownst to the IT department. One of the biggest reasons this is happening is because employees have become more and more tech savvy. Whether users are downloading or even creating apps for their own productivity or bringing their own devices in to use, it can seriously stress out the IT department as they try to keep track of everything.

All in all, this means plenty of redundant applications floating around that need to be consolidated. When organizations work to consolidate their data into fewer locations, they’ll be able to access, manipulate, and analyze data much easier than before. By having your data in one place, your organization will be able to save valuable time and resources and boost overall efficiency.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Speaking of valuable resources, let’s talk about the cost benefits of reducing Shadow IT. When you don’t know what software you own or who owns it, there’s no way to know how much you’re truly spending. This can result in tons of money essentially flying right out the window without your knowledge.

This is why organizations should take inventory of all non-IT sanctioned software. When you have a better grip on what you own, you’ll know which of your assets can either be removed or re-harvested. The goal is to only be paying for what you truly need. This, in turn, will help your organization cut back on unnecessary consumption and save big.

3. Drives Digital Transformation

Sometimes IT departments don’t meet eye-to-eye with the rest of the organization, or there simply isn’t enough coordination between the two. When everyone is on a different page, employees may be more inclined to go ahead and download something before their IT request has been approved.

To sum it up; sometimes Shadow IT occurs due to a lack of communication. And in some ways, pointing out that issue can actually be a good thing. When reducing Shadow IT, you should analyze which type of Shadow IT each department is using the most. This can help IT departments understand each department's individual needs and shine a light on what their core necessities are. Ultimately, this can drive digital transformation within the organization and enhance communication between IT and other departments.

4. Helps Ensure Compliance

Another benefit to reducing Shadow IT is that you will be able to ensure compliance with data privacy laws such as GDPR. GDPR requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens which means that organizations need to know where the data resides before they can be sure it’s being protected. Since even the slightest presence of Shadow IT could throw your organization out of compliance, it’s crucial you understand all data regulations.

Plus, there are new laws emerging in 2020 and beyond such as the California Protection Act. This state-specific regulation is designed to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for California residents. Be sure to keep an eye on this regulation, as it could set the stage for other states to follow suit.

5. Increases Security

Shadow IT poses serious security risks. The more unknown software employees use, the more ways hackers can attack organizations' data and infrastructure. Shadow IT can open up your organization to phishing attempts and ransomware attacks, and cyber criminals may even seek unsecure endpoints such as personal mobile devices.

Additionally, in the event of a data breach, IT departments won't know the full scope of the attack since they aren't aware of software in the shadows. This means that the threat could become an ongoing problem. When your attack surface is reduced by eliminating unknown applications, however, IT can become proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to cyber threats. Therefore, reducing Shadow IT is actually a great way to increase the security of your organization.

A Note on How a Remote Workforce Affects Shadow IT

A huge factor to keep in mind is the potential risk of working remotely. Telecommuting requires all members of your organization to find their own definition of normal. Some employees may worry about their productivity levels, encouraging them to download apps to help them stay on track. Others may take advantage of the lack of supervision and circumvent processes altogether since they aren’t being actively monitored. This means that employees may bend the rules and download communication and collaboration tools on their own, creating Shadow IT.

As more and more businesses around the world telecommute, you should reiterate to your team the potential threats of unsanctioned software. Otherwise, the number of downloads are likely to increase, leaving your organization vulnerable during an already trying time.

Don’t Wait on Reducing Shadow IT

Like we said, Shadow IT is not something to be ignored. It’s everywhere. And while your organization may be overwhelmed at the thought of reducing it, SoftwareONE is here to simplify the process. From accelerated digital transformation to increased security, you now know there are tons of benefits to reducing Shadow IT. So, don’t wait. Get started on your journey today.

Start Reducing Your Shadow IT Now

Getting rid of Shadow IT doesn’t have to be hard. Let us help you gain complete visibility into your software estate and sooner cut to the benefits of being Shadow IT-free.

Begin Your Journey

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