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Bringing Shadow IT into the Light: How CIOs Can Regain Control and Drive Productivity

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In an earlier post, I detailed the risks of Shadow IT, the growing practice of employees within a company procuring IT services without the involvement of the IT department.

Think of a marketing manager who, rather than waiting on an overburdened IT team to meet her needs, contracts with a cloud service provider, and with a few clicks of her mouse, spins up an ecommerce solution with neither the knowledge, support or control of corporate IT.

While the benefits of such freedom can be seductive, taking the form of productivity gains, the dangers should also be obvious: while today’s SaaS models offer a captivating array of helpful apps available any time, nearly all these utilities ask the user to send mission-critical company data into the cloud, potentially putting the company at serious risk of data breach.

So how can CIO’s regain control? It’s clear they want to: According to CIO.com’s State of the CIO Survey 2014, four out of five of the 722 IT leaders surveyed felt IT projects done without the IT department’s involvement created problems.

The first challenge is that too many IT organisations spend far too much of their budgets to simply “keep the lights on” rather than driving business growth. In that scenario, how can a company reduce delivery time to business users, reduce internal costs and complexity, and still regain control of, and protect sensitive data?

The bottom line: entreprise IT’s new service delivery model needs to make services as easy to consume as outside cloud providers do.

Central IT must transform to an operating model that alleviates the necessaity of individual business units going rogue by positioning itself as the broker of those services from cloud providers.