2Myth No. 1: Shadow IT Is for Shady Characters
Have you ever used your personal smartphone at work? Is your department the lone Google Docs adopter in the company? Guess what? That’s shadow IT. People using apps and devices for business without IT being aware aren’t nefarious; they’re just people trying to get jobs done fast and affordably using the most convenient tools available.
3Myth No. 2: Shadow IT Is a Bad Thing
When people first began using Yahoo Messenger at work, IT administrators didn’t like it. Today, IM has become a valuable communications tool across workplaces. Shadow IT technologies such as mobile devices and unsanctioned cloud apps aren’t meant to do harm but are being used to save time and make employees more efficient.
4Myth No. 3: Shadow IT’s Biggest Risk Is BYOD
5Myth No. 4: Shadow IT Is Just Uploading Corporate Content to Box, Dropbox
Because cloud storage apps are popular, content sharing is a well-known shadow IT problem. But shadow IT isn’t just about sharing files. It includes everything from medical companies using big data tools to crunch clinical trial data to unauthorized individuals downloading employee data from HR apps and business divisions adopting unsanctioned ERP apps.
6Myth No. 5: Shadow IT Is Strictly a Security Issue
While shadow IT can cause security problems such as data leaks, it can also create inefficiencies and get in the way of optimizing IT delivery. When line-of-business people buy separate instances of the same apps or redundant apps, the organization can’t take advantage of cost efficiencies or identify areas for optimizing performance and usage.
7Myth No. 6: Shadow IT Means Individuals Are Skirting the Rules
Sure, individuals perpetuate shadow IT. But entire divisions and lines of business are also culprits, buying and deploying instances of unsanctioned apps. For example, the marketing department at Brocade shared presentations with executives and external collaborators via Box.com out of convenience before realizing that IT needed to be involved for security oversight.
8Myth No. 7: Shadow IT Comprises Third-Party Tools Solely
9Myth No. 8: Shadow IT Causes Regulatory Problems for an Enterprise
10Myth No. 9: If You Block Cloud Apps, Shadow IT Will Go Away
Because people love their cloud apps (or at least like them very, very much), they will bypass onerous security policies to be able to use them. A truism in IT: Blocking never works. It’s much better to find a way to allow employees to use the apps, even if only under specified conditions. That’s one reason Vegas.com embraces the cloud-based model and allows employees to use hundreds of apps of their choosing.
11Myth No. 10: IT Can Never Let Users Go Rogue
If IT can understand user activity and ensure that the right policies are enforced, it can let users go rogue with the apps they love. Take Universal Music Group as an example: When producers there needed cloud apps such as SoundCloud, for instance, to send content back and forth with artists and musicians, UMG adopted technology that let employees use such apps instead of banning them outright. Employees there now are using more than 500 apps of their choice at work, all sanctioned by IT.