How To Fix Sh(adow) IT

SH(adow) IT Happens
How Can I Fix IT?

SH(adow) IT Happens – How can I fix it?

If left unmanaged, Shadow IT can expose your organization to various levels of financial, security, and compliance risks. While it’s nearly impossible to eliminate Shadow IT altogether (and you may not actually want to), there are actions you can take to help gain insight into and manage the programs your employees are using.

Shadow IT likely already exists within your organization. Therefore, you should follow the steps below to help guide you on your path towards getting it under control. Once properly managed, there are also a few things you can do to help prevent (or at least minimize) the creation of Shadow IT in the future.

How to Address Your Shadow IT Problem

Step 1: Inventory

Before you can build a plan to manage Shadow IT in your organization you must first do an inventory of your environment by using software asset scanning tools to shed light on any non-IT sanctioned software your employees are using.. That way you can base your plan off of actual data that’s unique to your organization.

Step 2: Analyze

Once the inventory has been set up, you’ll need to identify and qualify your greatest areas of risk. Typically the biggest risks exist within departments such as Marketing or HR where employees are most likely to go rogue in order to better perform their job. You’ll probably need the involvement of departments outside of IT such as Legal, Compliance, and Data Privacy teams.

Step 3: Plan & Implement

Now that you know what you need to focus on, you can build a plan of action. The plan varies by organization but usually includes things such as updating or replacing software, implementing security solutions, and setting up new polices and procedures for procuring new software.

Step 4: Monitor

Shadow IT is a continuous issue that will not go away once you’ve completed your first inventory. Therefore, you need to implement a way to continuously monitor your environment and flag potential risks so you can promptly act on them before they become major problems. This is typically a combination of both people, technology and processes.

The Top 4 Ways to Prevent Shadow IT

There are a few things you can do to help prevent the creation of Shadow IT within your organization. Preventing Shadow IT is all about changing the behaviors of your employees.

  • Make sure the process for your employees to request software is easy to use and understand.
  • Enable your employees to access software through a one-stop shop landing page.
  • Make sure anything acquired outside of your IT-sanctioned process is promptly deleted, without exception.
  • Bring awareness about the risks and consequences of Shadow IT to your employees, continuously.
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While Shadow IT can expose your organization to various risks, it also has the potential to bring innovation – you may find that an employee discovers a new, more efficient software or process. Therefore, it’s important to build a plan to continuously manage the IT within your organization, while not entirely shutting down your employees’ entrepreneurial spirit – balance is everything. SoftwareONE’s specialists enable our customers to reduce and manage Shadow IT. SH(adow) IT happens – we’re here to help.

Get Your Assets Out of the Shadows

Ignoring Shadow IT is no longer an option. It happens when users install systems and applications within organizations without explicit approval from the IT department. We address how best it can be managed.

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