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Shadow IT – innovation versus risk


Shadow IT – because the name implies – is that the installation and use of applications by employees that operate in an organization’s area of shadows, without the knowledge or approval of IT.cloud computing technology These applications haven't been vetted, authorized, controlled, or supported by the IT team and thus are often not in line with the organization’s requirements for data management, security, and compliance. At an equivalent time, the shadow it's considered by many as a crucial source for innovation, enabling the faster development of applications and tools not considered by the IT team, to develop a prototype way of working that benefits the whole business.

Finding the proper balance

Shadow IT can cause innovation with applications meeting the requirements of the business, but also cause risk. It may be a balancing act for businesses, with each individual organization wanting to decide just how far they reside along the danger curve. By allowing – or at the very least turning a blind eye to – shadow IT, new working processes that will benefit the broader business could also be found. However, shadow IT also can be a security nightmare. Especially once you consider that those members of staff who are likely to use their own solutions, will inherently be from the generation of risk-takers and can be inherently less concerned by the necessity for all-encompassing security measures. So, how can businesses protect themselves from this individualistic attitude to risk and the way should businesses decide their own risk profile?
By allowing – or at the very least turning a blind eye to – shadow IT, new working processes which will benefit the broader business could also be found


BYOD as a catalyst

In some ways, bring your own device (BYOD) is that the one to thank, or blame for shadow IT. The results of allowing such personally chosen devices within the work environment have led to the creep of employee’s own chosen applications to access or manage corporate information and data. the overall consumerization of IT and therefore the trend for workers to usher in their own devices has meant that each employee is now a possible user of shadow IT, easily deploying mobile applications. it's not just rogue, tech-savvy staff wanting their own tools. Shadow it's recently become a broader issue.
A start line for businesses wishing to mitigate the danger is to make sure that their acceptable usage policies are updated to hide the fashionable day business, like home working and BYOD.


Coming out of the shadows 


According to Atos, 36 percent of shadow IT purchases is being spent on file-sharing software, 33 percent on data archiving, 28 percent on social tools, and 27 percent on analytics. Often, the utilization of shadow it's right down to impatience with the IT department, with the first reason for shadow IT cited by respondents because the IT department’s inability to check and implement new capabilities and systems during a timely manner, thus smothering creativity and productivity.
The trend for businesses to maneuver core processes to the cloud – and staff’s general acceptance of it – has also accelerated the prevalence of shadow IT, whilst at an equivalent time made it harder to watch. consistent with a recent survey conducted by Fruition Partners of 100 UK CIOs, 60 percent of respondents said there's an increasing culture of shadow IT in their organizations, with 79 percent admitting that there are cloud services in use that their IT department isn't conscious of.


A motivational force 

It is wrong to debate shadow IT without examining the advantages it can usher in innovation. A recent Frost and Sullivan report entitled The New Hybrid Cloud showed that 49 percent of staff are comfortable using an unapproved application because using them helps staff “get their job done more quickly and easily”.
The rise of shadow it's going to actually inject a healthy dose of innovative thinking into organizations
The rise of shadow it's going to actually inject a healthy dose of innovative thinking into organizations, so shouldn’t be disregarded from the beginning. the power to check new approaches to business problems that would have a positive impact on rock bottom line is significant to employees at the least levels. If they're encumbered by the necessity for permissions, or for budget approvals to urge to the technology they have, things can stall at a time when market conditions change quicker than ever. to not mention, shadow IT applications are often far cheaper than their ‘official’ counterparts procured through the IT department.


Chasing innovation

Some of the world’s largest companies are discovering that rather than trying to drive out shadow IT, it's best to embrace it as a part of a wider culture of innovation. Adriana Karaboutis, VP and global CIO of Dell recently said: “I don’t chase shadow IT, I chase innovation. once you add a technology company and have 110,000 best friends that understand technology well and doubtless even better than you are doing, you've got to be out there working, listening, and determining how you'll create even more value for the workers and customers that you simply function against being defensive about owning IT.”
I would tend to agree. The onus on forward-thinking businesses shouldn’t get on stamping out shadow IT, but rather encouraging employees to adopt and obtain the foremost out of their tools of choice during a secure and productive fashion.


Shining a light-weight on the utilization of shadow IT

Especially since the arrival of shadow IT – and therefore the exponential rise of cloud applications – organizations got to be ready to monitor an individual’s data flow at the foremost basic level, no matter whether users are in-office or mobile. Solutions like cloud application control (CAC) can provide businesses with this visibility and therefore the ability to get, analyze and control all the knowledgeable staff is accessing or sharing – whether across authorized or unauthorized applications. information technology management it's about managing security risks without stifling innovation. By ‘following the user’, businesses can make sure that employees are safe and secure in the least times, whether or not they are using authorized applications or those from the shadows. Cloud and IT are trapped by their narrow vision
I would define myself as a nation person. I even have come to the present conclusion from years of working in customer-facing environments (recruitment and retail), but also through studying International Business and Spanish at university, where a year living in Spain taught me the way to adapt to different cultures, social norms, and business nuances. 
Moving into the planet of IT and Cloud computing, has brought a variety of challenges – some days i feel it’s harder adapting to the present world than learning Spanish! From an outsider’s perspective, I even have begun learning about an industry that, in my opinion, makes itself inaccessible to outsiders. it had been Eliot, author of Middlemarch who once said, “It may be a narrow mind which cannot check out a topic from various points of view.”
Having now traveled around Europe at various cloud and IT conferences, it strikes me that for outsiders to be accepted into this industry, it must evolve. This evolution should include (but not be limited to): a correction of female representation and therefore the loss of acronyms and jargon that are simply there to confuse and baffle audiences.
One area during which I think this evolution is starting to happen is that the emergence of CMOS or ‘Chief Marketing Officer’ who may be a user of cloud and associated technologies. The arrival of this role within the industry has enabled us to interrupt down the barrier between the ‘techies’ and therefore the ‘commercials’. The CMOS must truly understand the technology, during a way that they're ready to broadcast it into the general public domain so it's understandable to the top user, thus eliminating the annoying IT-babble attached thereto. it's allowed for business-level discussions to be representative of the CMOS function at the board level.


The rise of the CMO should be a awaken call to each person located within the normal IT function


The rise of the CMO should be a awaken call to each person located within the normal IT function. This awaken call is directed at those technically-minded individuals, telling them that if “they truly understand technology, they ought to have the power to elucidate it clearly.” If you can't simplify the technology to me, then you want to be lost in your own myriad jargon.
As a millennial, I even have grown up using the web and haven't any recollection of the times of just four-channel TV – to be honest, not having the ability to pause and record live TV through my Sky+ box may be a very distant memory! My generation from day one is exposed to the ‘consumerization’ of technology, where applications and services come ready-to-use, hidden away behind amazingly designed interfaces.
The wider point I'm trying to deal with is that without the simplification of jargon and acronyms, the professional discourse is going to be ignored in favor of a business-minded individual.
Allow me to supply an example (thanks to Andrew Mclean my CTO for explaining the tech).
When I search on Google I actually don’t care that “Google has massively parallel databases that have abstracted the hardware layer and provide for searching supported a mixture of worldwide data centers and smart algorithms and databases shared over many nodes.”
In fact, I just want my search results to please (preferably without the advertisements but that’s an entire new topic).
The point of this blog isn't a moan, but to undertake and help the IT and cloud industry understand that it's isolating itself from what might be a really large fan-base.


The disruptive economy is offering the cloud and IT person an opportunity to become the hero


The cloud and IT person features a chance with this changing and disrupting economy to become the hero both internal and external to an organization. Big Data, Analytics, IoT, cloud are all combining into a central focus which will enable businesses to be disrupted like never before. confirm the IT function becomes central thereto role. the primary stage of this is often to step outside of IT and learn other functions, disciplines, and industries.
Any organization is often suffering from collective madness and therefore the lack of ability to execute on a wider perspective. Cloud and IT’s a propensity for being introspective makes them the right industry to be suffering from this.



IBM SoftLayer and therefore the importance of an MSP channel to leverage the cloud


For many modern businesses, the cloud is significant to the way during which they operate, but so as to deliver the extent of service that their customers demand, they have to make sure that their infrastructure is up to scratch. IBM SoftLayer has been providing cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to a broad spectrum of companies, from startups to multinational corporations, for a variety of years now. also as bare metal and virtual servers, customers can access networking and large data solutions and a number of flexible IT benefits.
One way during which IBM SoftLayer is different from other cloud infrastructure platforms is that it recognizes the importance of integration and automation. Despite having a growing number of knowledge centers everywhere the planet, SoftLayer builds each center to an equivalent specification and equips it with the complete SoftLayer catalog of services – meaning that customers get the precise same features and reliability across the whole portfolio. The way during which SoftLayer private cloud contracts and expands also means flexibility is usually at hand.
SoftLayer gives you access to robust, dynamic, and agile infrastructure For managed service providers (MSPs), the advantages of IBM SoftLayer are particularly noteworthy. Hosting applications and services can prove challenging in terms of resources and finances, particularly during times of rapid climb, and lots of MSPs have benefitted from some level of assistance. Whether you specialize in storage, security, or the other sort of cloud service, partnering with SoftLayer gives you access to robust, dynamic, and agile infrastructure that ensures you'll deliver A level of service that meets not only today’s demands but those of the longer term too.
IBM SoftLayer has long recognized the importance of the MSP channel when leveraging the cloud, launching its channel referral program in 2011. Providing support for MSPs, the program doesn’t tie partners to long-term contracts but does give them access to IBM campaign assets, in-person training opportunities, and other exclusive benefits, helping more and more companies gain access to SoftLayer’s flexible cloud infrastructure. Businesses are liberal to repose on and resell any SoftLayer service as if it had been their own, without having to manage any of the underlying infrastructures.
the cloud is already too powerful to ignore
For managed service providers, the cloud is already too powerful to ignore. Previously, fears surrounding cloud adoption, particularly those centering on security, may are justifiable, but now a reluctance to embrace the cloud will see more agile competitors overtake you. this is often particularly important once you consider future technological developments, just like the Internet of Things and large data, which can also believe cloud computing.
IBM SoftLayer helps MSPs make the transition to the cloud by providing infrastructure as a service that's automated and robust, but also flexible, meaning you'll tailor your service to your customer’s needs. virtual technology The MSP channel lets organizations everywhere the planet enjoy the cloud, all while IBM SoftLayer provides the dynamic infrastructure needed for contemporary business success.