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How is Shadow IT Hurting Business?

July 23, 2015 by

Businesses want their employees to work at their highest levels of productivity. However, to get to that point, workers' methods may differ from their bosses'. They'll find applications and programs that will simplify the job and speed up the process rather than use potentially outdated or slow internal technology. Unfortunately, this shadow IT can interfere with a company's inner workings, including security and collaboration. Unified communications can help solve this problem while improving efficiency.

The Dangers of Shadow IT

Today's tech savvy workers are always looking for the next best software that will help them do their jobs to their highest ability. However, those programs may not do the same for the company as a whole. Shadow IT can be detrimental to information security, management, and finances. Yet, according to Information Age, 76 percent of chief information officers reported that their employees accessed the network using non-company applications.

Because of the rise of shadow IT, CIOs are increasingly worried about network security, the source claimed. Many employees are bypassing safety protocols, such as firewalls, to implement software of their choosing. When paired with the bring-your-own-device trend, private information is ripe for the taking. The various programs provide countless openings for hackers and viruses to enter a business's system, which causes the IT department to spend more time and money to fix the problems.

CIOs also spend approximately 25 percent of their yearly budgets dealing with shadow IT, not to mention that many of the programs are redundant. When employees are purchasing the applications that they think are best, one company will have many different versions of a similar program, Processor.com explained. They could end up buying products that don't work well together or that don't solve any problems, which will leave a large dent in the company's finances.

UC Fulfills Companies' Needs

UC solutions can solve many of these problems. They provide employees with one system that has any tool they could need available on several devices. From desktop computers and telephones to cellphones and laptops, workers will be able to access all their files in an efficient, inexpensive, and reliable way. According to Information Age, 72 percent of CIOs claimed the system gave them the results they desired without interrupting employees' creativity, engagement, and communication.

ThinkingPhones' cloud-based services combine IP telephony, email, instant messaging for business, mobile, and audio and video conferencing to give staff members various means to communicate and collaborate with their employees. Its business analytics software offers managers and employers insight into their companies' performance and productivity. The UC provider is also dedicated to bringing a highly secure system to businesses, which means company files won't be at risk.

CIOs and IT employees should talk with their co-workers to gain knowledge of what the company needs to accomplish its goals and responsibilities, Computer Weekly explained. While employees may be comfortable with the programs they already use, they aren't promoting the success of the business by continuing to use previous systems. IT needs to understand why workers aren't using the provided tools to be able to implement new ones.

"If you know why there is shadow IT, you can do something about it," Christoph Burtscher, CEO of Be2Change Consultancy, told the source. "Make sure you put the tools in place to address that root cause."

A UC solution is exactly what corporations need to eliminate their disconnected workforces. The system will bring together all departments and employees within a company so that everyone has access to the same communications tools and files without the added risks or costs third-party applications have.

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