The hidden dangers of shadow collaboration
Users who want to will find a way to collaborate and work together, even by using social media, so it’s much better to provide them with a consistent, stable and secure solution that will meet their needs – and ensure data stays inside the organisation. Shadow IT has become a real problem for many organisations. Younger millennial and Generation Z workers expect to be able to touch and interact with everything digitally. If the technology that is provided by the business does not meet their needs and expectations, they are certain to seek out and use their own solutions that will help them to do their job. You could end up with several different platforms, all trying to do the same thing but with no consistent experience and no control. This can cause real issues though. Shadow IT has real implications for security and regulatory requirements, such as GDPR. Organisations must be in control of their data. If software and systems are being used without their knowledge and/or consent, they may be on dangerous ground. There could be really serious issues in terms of where the data resides and who has control over it. Under the radar Collaboration is one area in which shadow IT has become most prevalent. Finding themselves dissatisfied with the solutions on offer – which typically won’t extend much beyond email and a basic conferencing system – they will seek out and use solutions they prefer. They will often do this ‘under the radar’ of IT, because they know that, if they try to go through the usual process, they won’t be allowed to buy and use the solution they want. As a result, an organisation can end up with several different solutions being used in different places around the organisation, with all the implications that has for security, the management of data and compliance. Taking back control But of course, these alternative systems are being adopted and used because workers want to work more collaboratively with each other. It’s going to be extremely difficult to put them off this idea – they are used to working together in this way. The only way that IT can really regain control is to introduce collaboration solutions that really do work – and give users what they need. It would be much better to provide users with a consistent, stable and secure solution that will meet their needs – and ensure data stays inside the organisation Meeting the collaboration needs of all users in all departments might be quite a challenge but the good news is that there are solutions available today that have the broad capability to meet the widest spectrum of needs. Most are cloud-based and the use of ‘as a service’ models means they are much more affordable as well. SCC AVS can help you define exactly what sort of solution you need and how best to implement and manage the transition from to where you are now, to where you really ought to be, and help you set a clear direction and approach to collaboration in the future. You can read more about how we see the current state of communications and collaboration technologies today – and how organisations can develop a clear strategy for the future – in our whitepaper, A better way of working together.