So what is Shadow IT and do I need to worry about it?
Shadow IT occurs when a workforce use software or hardware that are not sanctioned by a company. These tools usually enter an organization, because they enable employees and teams to do their jobs faster. Often these tools come recommended by employees friends, partners or from a simple Google search.
When asked to blog on the topic of Shadow IT, it quickly reminded me of a situation I had at home the previous week... when I was sitting in the kitchen, listening to my children telling me they were bored (nothing new there). I reminded them how they had plenty of toys upstairs to play with, and so off they went. It was only after 30 minutes, that I thought to myself, 'it's unusually quiet upstairs'. Even if they are playing with their toys, surely they would come down to get a drink by now. When I went upstairs to inspect, I soon discovered that my children decided that it was much more fun to draw on our freshly painted walls, rather than playing with their toys!
You might be wondering how this story relates to Shadow IT, but stick with me!
Empowering the Workforce
Basically what I am suggesting is that you the IT Manager, are the parent and the children are your organizations workforce. If you don't keep them entertained/empowered with the latest tools to help them get their jobs done, they will look for alternative ways to do so.
For example, suddenly a cloud app you never heard of is a critical business solution. Like the majority of modern apps, there is no installation and they are available in the browser. This happens a lot in the IT world and essentially IT are forced into supporting an app they never properly vetted.
As the modern workforce strive for self-service tools to aid their day-to-day work and help them digitally transform, a proven solution to empower business experts to create and automate business processes is FlowForma Process Automation. With this tool, business managers can build, test, edit and deploy processes quickly and easily. The tool also comes with a Governance and Process Portal which allows IT to see all processes currently running, all App environments, all sandboxes and push and pull processes across any environment. This enables IT to empower users in a controlled manner.
Erasing the Shadow - a Use Case
At FlowForma we believe in empowering business experts, while giving IT the required governance needed. Here's an example of how FlowForma Process Automation empowers users within a governed environment.
If HR wanted to improve their processes, the HR Manager can request a sandbox from IT, with the current live HR processes available in the sandbox. The HR manager can then create or modify the HR processes. Once HR are happy with how the processes work, HR can request this process to be pushed by into User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for sign-off and then pushed into production by IT.
So basically if you think of FlowForma Process Automation as a big bucket of LEGO, that you can create anything you want with and referring back to my own kids, if I had a bucket of LEGO handy, I wouldn't be painting my walls again...