Shadow IT is any application or other IT resource obtained or built by business users without the knowledge or approval of the IT department, and it’s becoming a pervasive problem. In 2012, 77% of businesses were home to shadow Cloud deployments, and 40% of these deployments resulted in the exposure of confidential data, according to a 2013 study by security firm Symantec Corp.
Business users say they resort to shadow IT to save time and money, but this practice of secretly bypassing the IT professionals, creates increased costs for companies. Because shadow applications, also called rogue deployments, rogue IT or stealth IT, are not managed by IT or integrated into an organization’s other systems, they aren’t subject to the same security controls or other compliance-related safeguards. If the IT team isn’t aware of applications or services procured directly by business users, it may not know where data is stored or who can access it.
Shadow IT did not start with Cloud computing or Software as a Service, but the Cloud has made bypassing the IT department easier and has exacerbated ensuing compliance difficulties. It’s tough enough to retain control over data that is held within an organization’s own jurisdiction, but the challenge is greatly magnified when data is transmitted, handled or stored by a public Cloud provider. And, it’s nearly impossible for IT to manage compliance in the Cloud if it doesn’t have a well-defined relationship with the service provider.
Before you sign up with a low cost Cloud provider to take advantage of the many benefits the Cloud has to offer, understand the implications this will have on your users experience and the privacy of your business data. Are you simply signing up for a new way to license your software or are you moving your business forward with a strategic decision that meets both your current and future IT requirements. Apps on Tap is more than a new way to license software, it is an integrated and secure end-to-end Cloud solution that will be welcomed by IT and business users alike.