Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Adrian Bridgwater

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, Microservices Journal, Linux, Security, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

Caught! The Real Culprit of Shadow IT

There are some amazing SaaS options out there, so many that IT cannot be expected to find them all first

Once you learn the definition of shadow IT, it shouldn’t be too shocking to learn how widespread it is at companies large and small all over the world. I hate to assume, but the odds are, that you yourself have used a non-IT approved SaaS option for the same reason as everyone else, myself included. We’re all expected to do our jobs faster, and at a higher quality than we did in the past, and sometimes it’s just too easy to go behind the backs of those whom we perceive to slow us down, or act as a blocker.

A recent study showed that eighty percent of those polled admitted using SaaS applications and tools without IT’s approval, which, when you’re part of that eighty percent, isn’t all that shocking. The real kicker is the revelation of who has been using shadow IT SaaS solutions more than anyone.

IT employees themselves.

What’s their reasoning? “IT users feel they can handle the risk better.” That's...not really good enough.

Even as an occasional user of shadow IT myself (I’m trying to quit!) I am happy to see that not every article found online simply touts the ill-advised practice as out-of-control, or impossible to stop. In fact, now that we’ve all learned just how widespread the problem is, many are already well underway in finding a way to rein it in. And in what should relieve CIOs, security professionals, and others responsible for heeling shadow IT as soon as possible—the solution is shockingly simple.

Put a clear policy in place that lists the SaaS options that are allowed, and also formally states that if you’re using one that is not listed, particularly those that are discovered to put you and your customers’ data at risk—this is a real problem.

But how do you know which ones to allow? Not only is this easy, it’s healthy for the culture of your business. Speak with those employees who are using shadow IT, and who have come to rely on these apps to do their job. Let them explain why they chose this or that option, and why the non-shadowy options prohibit them from doing their jobs, or more importantly, from innovating and helping take the company to the next level.

Many of the applications that employees are secretly utilizing probably aren’t a security threat, and like we learned earlier, I’d be willing to bet that many of them are also being used by IT employees as well as others. But as McAfee Asia-Pacific CTO Sean Duca explains, it’s the “shadow” aspect that’s ultimately “bad for business.”

With shadow IT usage being so rampant, across multiple departments, employees aren’t turning to these non-approved options out of laziness, or spite. It’s because IT doesn’t have the time to fully vet every SaaS option out there. Speak with employees to learn what’s helping them do their jobs. Make this an opportunity, as Duca suggests, to “be more open and candid,” to increase the collaboration and communication between departments, and so that “companies can consider purchasing the products so they could be used securely from inside their organizations.”

There are some amazing SaaS options out there, so many that IT cannot be expected to find them all first. But when a new option comes along, especially one that helps you innovate better and faster—don’t leave it in the shadows and put your job or your company at risk. If it’s as great of a solution as you think it is, get it approved, and perhaps even more of your company can benefit and innovate from it than just yourself.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Skytap Blog

Author: Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, customers release better software faster. In this blog, we publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

@CloudExpo Stories
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“We are a managed services company. We have taken the key aspects of the cloud and the purposed data center and merged the two together and launched the Purposed Cloud about 18–24 months ago," explained Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CenturyLink, Inc., a leader in the network services market, has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and ...
Database apps on mobile devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate for IBM Cloudant, will discuss how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again), whenever an Internet connection is available. He will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with mobile devices in order to build offline-enabled mobile apps that can provide a better,...
In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist of Cloud Services at VMware, will review the changes that the cloud computing industry has gone through over the last five years and share insights into what the next five will bring. He will chronicle the challenges enterprise companies are facing as they move to the public cloud. He will delve into the “Hybrid Cloud” space and explain why every CIO should consider ‘hybrid cloud’ as part of their future strategy to a...
While Docker continues to be the darling of startups, enterprises and IT innovators around the world, networking continues to be a real mess. Indeed, managing the interaction between Docker containers and networks has always been fraught with complications. Without automation in networking, the vision of running Docker at scale and letting IT run the same apps unchanged on the laptop and in the data center or for any cloud cannot be realized.
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Puppet Labs on Wednesday released the DevOps Salary Report, based on salary data gathered from Puppet Labs' industry-recognized State of DevOps Report. The data confirms that market demand for DevOps skills is growing, and that DevOps engineers are among the highest paid IT practitioners today. That's because IT organizations today are grappling with how to be more agile and responsive to the business, while maintaining the stability of their infrastructure. DevOps practices, such as continuous ...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Docker is becoming very popular--we are seeing every major private and public cloud vendor racing to adopt it. It promises portability and interoperability, and is quickly becoming the currency of the Cloud. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bart Copeland, CEO of ActiveState, discussed why Docker is so important to the future of the cloud, but will also take a step back and show that Docker is actually only one piece of the puzzle. Copeland will outline the bigger picture of where Docker fits a...
In a world of ever-accelerating business cycles and fast-changing client expectations, the cloud increasingly serves as a growth engine and a path to new business models. Dynamic clouds enable businesses to continuously reinvent themselves, adapting their business processes, their service and software delivery and their operations to achieve speed-to-market and quick response to customer feedback. As the cloud evolves, the industry has multiple competing cloud technologies, offering on-premises ...
Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around...
In his session at DevOps Summit, Andrei Yurkevich, CTO at Altoros, provided an overview of all the benefits and opportunities, as well as drawbacks of deploying Cloud Foundry PaaS with Juju and compared it to BOSH. Discover the features that overlap, and understand what Juju Charm is, what it is not, where you use one or the other or where you use both BOSH and Juju Charms together. Andrei Yurkevich is Cloud Foundry protagonist and CTO at Altoros. Under his supervision, the Altoros engineering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises a...
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developmen...
As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally – how is cloud impacting your customers? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco, provided answers to big questions: Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? He also discussed Intercloud and Cisco’s investment on it.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
The Internet of Things Maturity Model (IoTMM) is a qualitative method to gauge the growth and increasing impact of IoT capabilities in an IT environment from both a business and technology perspective. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will first scan the IoT landscape and investigate the major challenges and barriers. The key areas of consideration are identified to get started with IoT journey. He will then pinpoint the need of a tool for effective IoT adoption and implementation, whic...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...