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Using shadow IT to your advantage

Divina Paredes | June 25, 2014
CIOs have two options: ignore it, maintain centralised control. Or, become an enabler to the business

Controlling costs can be challenging. One company found that four lines of business are spending far more money on IAAS than they should have.

Regulatory compliance is difficult. If you are sued and you don't know where our stuff is the email sent, document or contract you risk getting fined.

"It is worthy acknowledging shadow IT is real, adopting it in a healthy way so you have a chance to mitigate some of the risks."

Also, provide users with a gateway to the cloud. "Most users want to do the right thing, but if there are barriers they will use a credit card."

He says shadow IT happens because lines of business are demanding a higher velocity in their IT projects than IT can deliver. Suppliers also target business users with their products and services. The lines of business are also becoming "more tech savvy and feel comfortable driving their own projects".

The key is to allow the businesses to do what they are doing but with a thin layer of control.

The important capabilities include:

  • Performance monitoring. The last thing you want is having to make something critical to the business work with a technology you didn't not know was being introduced into the organisation.
  • Event consolidation. You need capability that can consolidate information from disparate sources. This is a foundational capability before you can do capacity analytics and visualisation.
  • Capacity analytics. Once you have that consolidated source, you can run capacity planning tools and analytics to predict outages. What are some future demands going to be?
  • Visualisation. Provide dashboards, so if there are issues, you will alert people, so they are not running around in a mad panic, he states. Your visualisation layer should allow you to pick and choose what data elements should be surfaced for certain users.

He concludes: When IT adapts to support shadow IT, they can influence how it's done.


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