31285988_SHave you heard of shadow IT? Sounds like the no-good-broad-shouldered-thug that you don’t want to meet in a dark alley. You may be creating shadow IT at your company if your software is outdated, your policies are complicated or you’re lacking in IT support. Do you ever hear whispered conversations about how it’s not worth it to call the help desk because they won’t get around to helping for days? You may be breeding dark alleys and shadow IT.

Shadow IT “occurs when employees circumvent procedures to use unapproved services and software.”

Imagine. You’re working closely with your project team, smooth sailing so far (unheard of, right?), and you run into a bump in the road in regards to sufficient privileges on the network for a team member to accomplish their tasks. You’re going to need to call IT to make the request. Fear sets in and you anticipate the slip to your schedule. Unless…

Shadow IT steps in.

How can you create an environment where your teams aren’t in fear of contacting IT and instead follow the appropriate protocols for requesting rights and privileges?

Networkworld asked some of the top security execs out there to chime in on how to successfully do this.

  1. Acknowledge that it’s happening.

  2. Allow a grace period for requests to happen under IT management without repercussions.

  3. Empower your IT staff to contribute.

  4. Adopt an open-door IT policy for all new projects.

  5. Make “customer-first” the goal for IT.

  6. Create an atmosphere where IT serves as a trusted adviser.

  7. Provide services as good or better than what staff can find on their own.

  8. Make their lives easier: implement single sign-on.

  9. Automate.

  10. Stop using the word “users”; change the mindset.

  11. Instead of shutting off access completely, try granting access to download, but not upload.

  12. Allow a corporate version, such as corporate Box.net accounts if staff are using personal Dropbox accounts.

  13. Provide a service catalogue of what’s approved and make it easy for employees to find.

Do some of these steps feel overwhelming? If you lack the IT expertise to properly build, manage and protect your data, we’re here to help. We can set you up with the ability to get control of shadow IT and implement a number of these steps above. Let us help you with network assessments and auditing, IT asset tracking and reporting, cloud solutions and security and monitoring services.

We can help you shut the door on shadow IT.