Wait a moment, does it actually make sense to talk about shadow IT and sourcing strategy in the same breath?
Isn’t shadow IT all about undisciplined end-users bypassing the IT department to sign up with the first shark, sorry, cloud vendor who comes along – end-users who wouldn’t know an IT sourcing strategy if it bit them in the hard drive?
People in enterprises are going to use shadow IT whatever happens, even if it’s a personal app on their personal mobile computing device, into which they then start to enter corporate data.
So, if you can’t beat them, maybe you should join them, as follows.
The first point is that even with shadow IT, a sourcing strategy has to be applied:
- Company budgets are not infinitely elastic, and when the CEO finds out that the marketing department has racked up huge expenses on shadow IT, the IT department may still be blamed.
- Cloud vendors that can be turned on or off may be the least of several evils, but even they have small print that must be considered, for example, in terms of data ownership.
- Similarly, once users start to use a shadow IT solution, they may find it hard to stop than it was to start.
- Compliance may also be an issue, if your corporate data is finding its way onto service provider installations that happen to be in a different country with different data regulations.
The second point is that you’ll have to accompany and educate your end-users to get them to buy as wisely and compliantly as possible, while they think about the points above and more.
Some corporate IT cloud solutions now let you see if users are buying solutions independently.
In that case, you may be able to broker better prices collectively, and reinstate stronger security to protect users and the company – and make your way back to a sourcing strategy, instead of staring aghast at end-user anarchy.