This week’s episode breaks down the mystery surrounding ‘shadow IT’ in organisations and leads to this week’s question from a client, ‘What’s a Shadow IT?’
Shadow IT is a term used to describe when business owners within an organisation take ownership of vendor relationships and often system administration for IT solutions. This essentially creates a “Shadow IT Department.”

This is happening more and more today because it’s so easy to buy cloud software for specific business needs whether it’s free or just a few hundred dollars a year using a corporate credit card.

Some common examples I see all the time are for Project Management or social media management software. However, I’ve also seen it being used by a person or individual department for core functions like storing data in a free Customer Relationship Management system when they already have an organisational CRM.

The main problems with Shadow ITs are that they increase data management and security risks. However, the more common problem I hear about is that IT departments are being asked to fix issues for software they know nothing about.

Also, whenever I see a large shadow IT in an organisation, I can guarantee you that data is probably all over the place and there are likely to be a lot of unnecessary manual processes being performed by the business.

The only way to really fix this issue is to implement a strong IT Governance structure that provides guidance for the enterprise architecture view and future IT investment decisions.

This is not a simple task, but a necessary one if you really want to keep control over your data and… from a budget perspective, your investments.

So, there you have it in plain English.

If you have an IT question you want answered, feel free to connect with me here on my website or on LinkedIn and send me a message. I just might answer it on this show.

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Tammy Ven Dange is a former charity CEO, Not for Profit Board Member and IT Executive. Today she helps NFPs with strategic IT decisions, especially around investments.

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