Apr 5, 2024

What is Shadow IT and Why Should Your Business Care?

Understand the risks Shadow IT poses to your business.

What is Shadow IT and Why Should Your Business Care?

Shadow IT refers to the use of technology and software applications within an organization without the knowledge or approval of the IT department. These applications may include cloud-based services, social media platforms, collaboration tools, and other software that employees use to get their work done.

While Shadow IT can be convenient for employees, it can also pose significant risks to the organization. Here are a few reasons why your business should care about Shadow IT:

  1. Security risks: When employees use unauthorized applications and services, they may be putting sensitive company data at risk. These applications may not have the same security measures in place as approved software, making them vulnerable to hacks and data breaches.
  2. Compliance concerns: Many industries have strict regulations and compliance requirements that must be met in order to avoid penalties and legal issues. The use of unauthorized software may put your business out of compliance, leading to fines and other penalties.
  3. Productivity losses: When employees use different applications and software, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This can lead to confusion, inefficiencies, and a loss of productivity.
  4. Increased costs: When different departments use different software, it can be difficult to manage licenses, updates, and support. This can lead to increased costs for the organization as a whole.

So, what can your business do to address Shadow IT?

Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Assess your current technology landscape: Identify all of the applications and software being used within your organization, both approved and unapproved. This will help you understand the scope of the problem and develop a plan to address it.
  2. Educate employees: Many employees may not even realize that they are using unauthorized software. By educating them on the risks associated with Shadow IT, you can help them make better decisions about the technology they use.
  3. Implement a formal policy: Develop a policy that outlines which applications and software are approved for use within the organization. Make sure all employees are aware of the policy and understand the consequences of violating it.
  4. Utilize Shadow IT management tools: Tools like Ploy can help you identify and manage Shadow IT within your organization. These tools can provide insight into which applications are being used, who is using them, and the risks associated with each application.

In conclusion, Shadow IT is a real and growing problem for many businesses. By understanding the risks associated with Shadow IT and taking steps to address it, you can help protect your business from potential threats and ensure that your employees are using technology in a safe and secure manner.

Jacob Prime

Jacob Prime

Jacob is CEO & Co-founder of Ploy.