Mobile exec argues need to be ‘proactive’ to take advantage of shadow IT


Wayne Byrne, director of product marketing at cloud solutions provider KeyedIn, claims a shadow IT strategy could “unlock numerous opportunities” when done correctly.

This news could strike fear into the heart of any CIO, worried that employees were using personal devices and insecure unapproved cloud software to share files and collaborate on documents.

Yet Byrne believes a good shadow IT policy can result in improved visibility, increased productivity and better mobile management, among others.

“Shadow IT provides a window into what employees are doing to overcome the pain points they experience while executing their daily tasks,” Byrne said. “With visibility into the spreadsheets and apps employees are creating to manage their daily roles, IT can determine what tools to create for general use that will eliminate the need for workarounds.”

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) provider MobileIron has recently been advocating shadow IT as a positive for the CIO, rather than something to control. The company wrote: “It’s an opportunity in the sense that it highlights, often very clearly, where something isn’t working for people.

“Instead of trying to wage war against people who are trying to do their jobs as best they can – something that will appear as punitive and unjustified to those people – a more forward thinking and long term approach is to engage them, understand their needs, and work to resolve the issue in a way that works for them and for IT.”

Intriguingly, Byrne sees improved data integrity and more secure email as additional benefits of incorporating shadow IT within organisations, saying use of software such as Microsoft Office apps pose a grave risk.

“By taking shadow IT on proactively, the IT team can use one of the many available tools that allow employees to collaborate in a structured format, eliminating data silos to preserve integrity while keeping information secure,” Byrne said.

The overall sense from Byrne’s comments is that shadow IT isn’t a quick win on its own. It gives freedom for the IT to make the right decision on secure collaboration and email tools – but making the right decision is half the battle.

MobileIron, as a result, recently released its Content Security Services product. Their marketing line is to ‘secure the personal cloud’, but it’s a similar process at work. With content secure on any device wherever, whenever, then it’s theoretically taking security worries away from the device level.

“With the right strategy, companies can channel the energy behind shadow IT to improve productivity while addressing security issues,” Byrne added. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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9 Feb 2015, 3:45 a.m.

Wayne is correct to a certain level but it's not so much the uncertainty of whatever BYOD the staff member brings to the workplace - it's more about whether or not the BYOA (Bring your own App) is appropriate and also 100% safe. The IT "Department" is challenged to keep the company IT environment "protected". Also when a staff member leaves the company after uses his "personal App" to complete tasks - how does the job get done by those left behind ?