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Successful companies embrace shadow IT

Quinton Wall | May 21, 2013
Employees are deploying, building and procuring their own applications, and some CIOs embrace the practice.

It's an important question. After all, the risks and the opportunity costs associated with shadow IT are high. For instance, with so much data siloed, workers can't find and share information as easily as they once did. Often, the applications they build or procure themselves won't work on all of the devices they should. And critical identity and access control systems break down as workers access applications outside enterprise identity management systems. That brings up another important point when we discuss shadow IT: security.

With shadow IT, data that the enterprise would rather see protected is more likely to end up on systems that aren't as secure as they need to be, and visibility is lost into where highly confidential or regulated information is flowing. This obviously increases the chances of a data breach and regulatory fines. It also makes it difficult for the enterprises to optimize the value they're getting from their IT investments.

IT leaders need to find ways to harness the motivations that drive shadow IT. To do this, more enterprises are turning their users to cloud services that provide security and swift access to the applications and data they need -- wherever they choose to work and on just about any device.

The best way to achieve this is through modern cloud app platforms. These platforms provides a fast, agile and affordable way to deliver applications and services directly to users. Unlike cloud infrastructure services, that focus on the "plumbing" that developers need to run applications, modern cloud app platforms furnish all the infrastructure necessary to develop and run applications as a service, as well as a suite of tools and services to enable the rapid development of apps by anybody -- professional developers, ISVs or business users.

The good news for the CIO's office is that such modern cloud app platforms furnish all of the benefits mentioned above and still maintain much-needed governance over data and systems so crucial for security and regulatory mandates. It's about embracing the motivations that drive innovation throughout the organization, not just the IT department. A true modern cloud app platform delivers the agility business demands, and the governance IT requires.

That's just one example of how modern cloud app platforms enable IT departments to help their internal customers meet the ferocious demand for applications and services, unify access to data and increase the speed at which they can do it. In fact, IT departments can forget their fears of being lost in the dark by shadow IT, because they'll be at the center of driving the value and innovation businesses need to thrive.


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