Shadow IT: Once hidden, often hated, but well worth embracing

A business user’s need to scratch a technical itch can provide great benefit to both company and IT
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Credit: Tom Merton

Shadow IT: Onetime hidden, often hated, but well worth embracing

“Shadow IT” sounds like a dirty little secret. Handled well, it can be much more than that.

When a tech-savvy user -- often a self-appointed one -- builds or buys technology for more than just personal use, that’s shadow IT.

We’re talking spreadsheet templates for use within a workgroup, signing up with a SaaS vendor to make an application available for a department, contracting an outside IT services vendor to build custom software.

These end runs around IT may either put food in the company’s mouth or bite it in the behind. To get the food and not the bite, you have to know how best to support it.

Here are five reasons IT should embrace shadow IT, and five ways for IT to make it thrive.

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