Shadow IT is the result of consumer services outpacing the IT department’s ability to provide tools to end users.
When the IT department doesn’t provide tools to help employees solve problems, they often search for their own answer. Before the advent of cloud services that were easy to use, many people used their own devices to access corporate systems.
Shadow IT isn’t BYOD — it is bring your own services. This might be personal cloud services, like DropBox to share files with people externally, Wunderlist to organize tasks within a team, or services like Yammer that don’t have corporate approval. In the news, you may have even seen politicians running their own email servers for work email — another example of shadow technology.
To counter the use of shadow technology, provide better services with the right controls or try to stamp out shadow IT and promote the existing systems. Attempting to eliminate shadow IT is ineffective; however, allowing it to proliferate unchecked is not an option in most circumstances.