Enterprises are vastly underestimating the extent that unauthorized applications and services are being used within their organizations.  This last month I completed a White Paper about ‘Shadow IT’ (workers using personal devices and cloud services in the enterprise) — The Impact of Shadow IT in the New Collaborative Enterprise on behalf of my client Daitan Group for whom I am developing an on-going series of white paper and blog content to support their marketing and business development initiatives. For the content, we researched three impacts:

  1. The impact of Shadow IT on Enterprise Security and Identity Management
  2. The impact of Shadow IT on Enterprise Messaging, and
  3. The impact of Shadow IT on Enterprise Collaboration

The Shadow IT trend is generally reported in a negative light, both for the pall the trend casts on how IT departments work, and for the impact it causes in terms of business security, policies and procedures. Even the name itself has an ‘underhand’ and rather menacing feel. Security issues as a result of Shadow IT are real, and they are serious. But the impacts of Shadow IT are not universally negative.

On the positive side, Shadow IT behaviors have resulted in the emergence of breakthroughs in automated and customized messaging and workflows that are enabling exciting new applications that increase employee productivity and efficiency, and foster collaboration.