Most organisations have procedures for acquiring and setting up IT systems. Sometimes, though, people running departments think it's easier to get forgiveness than to get permission. They need a machine now, and their view of the regular channels resembles Dilbert's "Mordac, preventer of information services." The result is what's called "Shadow IT."
Shadow IT can be convenient for the people who use it, but it's a headache for the organisation. Equipment is more expensive when bought piecemeal. Different departments buying similar equipment can mean redundant expenditures. Perhaps the biggest problem, though, is that the shadow equipment is likely to bypass standard policies. Sometimes you just have to be Mordac, to make sure of maintaining security and privacy. If the IT department doesn't know who has what information, records could be inconsistent or inadequately protected.
Shadow IT can apply to cloud services as well. An uncoordinated approach to cloud systems can mean more monthly expenditures and interdepartmental inconsistency.
A business can stop shadow IT with an absolute ban on all computer expenditures without central approval. It's more important, though, to understand why it's happening. What barriers do people find so insurmountable that they have to tiptoe around them? A better understanding of why policies are in place may reduce the shadow activity. A more streamlined approval process may help.
Maybe the IT department is just doing all it can to handle its internal issues, and requests from other departments get low priority. People get frustrated and go directly to the vendors. In this kind of situation, outsourcing IT management can solve the problem. A managed IT service has the time to listen to all requests, consider them according to the policy the company has given them, and recommend a solution. A managed service can reduce the perception of office politics and unequal treatment.
Mirus IT can help unify and coordinate your business's IT services, without coming across like Mordac. Please contact us for more information.