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How It Can Embrace Shadow It With “shallow It”

By Author: skyhigh networks

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In fact, 80% of workers admit to using SaaS applications at work, in many cases without IT approval, according to a recent Stratecast survey. Even though there may be corporate policies prohibiting them from using unsanctioned apps, their business value outweighs their perceived risk, at least as far as employees are concerned.

For many IT departments, the scope of so-called “Shadow IT” or usage of technology in the workplace not provided by the IT department can be much higher than they think. It’s estimated on average to compromise 20-40% of all IT spending at a company today. That is above and beyond what are sometimes multi-billion dollar or more technology budgets overseen by an IT department with hundreds of thousands of people.

Workers are using these cloud apps because they help them to get their job done. They make the more productive, and that should be seen as a good thing insofar as it’s making companies more competitive in a global marketplace. It also represents a growing disconnect between what the IT department is providing and what technology the business needs to stay competitive. It used to be that the technology provided by the company to an employee was leading edge Now, employees have bring devices like tablets and smartphones to the office that can run sophisticated apps that far exceed the capabilities of traditional enterprise software.

Employees can have access to their files anytime, on any device using cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive. They can sync notes across devices using Evernote and Apple iCloud. People can make free video calls using Apple Facetime and Skype. Collaboration tools like Box and Asana make it possible to manage tasks and projects in ways not possible with old fashioned on premise software.

Naturally, some IT departments see the growing use of unapproved technology as a threat. To them, Shadow IT is supplanting their traditional role of being the gatekeepers to technology within the organization and could reduce the need for an IT department altogether. Also, whether employees use company provided technology or a new array of cloud apps, IT is still responsible for the security of the company’s data. Rather than see Shadow IT as a threat, forward-thinking IT departments are embracing the use of cloud at their organizations.

Ralph Loura, Chief Information Office at Clorox views the use of cloud apps to be a positive. In his view, employees are testing out apps in a category like cloud storage and crowd sourcing which apps are the best ones. This removes a lot of work from IT the difficult task of identifying what is the best software application that will allow the company to perform at a higher level and drive growth. It can thinly invest in apps, what he terms “Shallow IT” and then invest in the apps that have reached a tipping point in terms of usage in the organization.


Skyhigh Networks, the cloud access security company, enables companies to embrace Cloud Analytics Services with appropriate levels of security, compliance, and governance while lowering overall risk and cost. With customers in financial services, healthcare, high technology, media, manufacturing, and legal verticals, the company was a finalist for the RSA Conference 2013 Most Innovative Company award and was recently named a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner, Inc. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Skyhigh Networks is led by an experienced team and is venture-backed by Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. For more information on Shadow IT to Visibility and Cloud Control, visit us at http://www.skyhighnetworks.com/shadow-it/ or follow us on Twitter@skyhighnetworks.

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