What is Shadow IT?
The term Shadow IT describes applications and systems that are in use in a business that haven’t been provided, or approved, by the IT department.
It is called Shadow IT for 2 reasons:-
- The service provided typically shadows a service provided by the IT department. i.e. The use of Slack within a department instead of the corporate Teams system.
- It is hidden within the shadows of a department. i.e. A server hidden under a desk, or a SaaS solution charged on expenses to keep it hidden
Shadow IT solutions are typically purchased by a department to run specialist applications. This could be a salesman or department using their own CRM, rather than the company system.
Historically this would have been a Server under a desk within the department. Now Shadow IT is far more likely to be a SaaS solution hosted within the Cloud.
What is Shadow IT and why is it a worry?
Shadow IT is a worry to both the IT department and the finance department. These reasons in the era of SaaS applications are still the same as when Shadow IT was a server under a desk.
What is Shadow IT to the IT Department?
- Shadow IT is a Security concern.
- How often is the data backed up?
- Where is the data stored?
- Who has access to the data?
- If its a salesman using their preferred CRM will they take the data with them if they leave?
- Shadow IT is a compliance issue.
- Who own the data if the user has paid for the service?
- Does it comply with GDPR?
- What happens if the person who signed up for the application leaves? Will the rest of the department loose access to the application?
- Who provides support if the IT department don’t even know the application exists?
What is Shadow IT to the Finance department?
- Shadow IT is a budget concern
- Who is actually paying for it?
- Are they claiming on expenses?
- Are we claiming the VAT?
How can I control Shadow IT?
Shadow IT, by definition, is hidden from mainstream IT. So until you know what systems and applications are actually being used you can’t start to control it.
To start your journey on managing and controlling Shadow IT you first need to discover it. Take a look at our SaaS Management solution.