Shadow IT: How to turn invisible IT into a great opportunity for your organization?

Shadow IT

Shadow ITWithout a doubt, Cloud Computing has brought with it the proliferation of various technologies; that have gradually become tools of great value both for users and for organizations in general. However, cloud services have also led to the emergence of certain phenomena; that have often generated somewhat negative perceptions. This is the case with Shadow IT.



Also known as Invisible IT this practice has produced disapproval among IT professionals since its very beginning. However, it is possible that from another approach; it may offer various advantages to organizations. Read on and find out how to better manage Shadow IT to turn it into a great opportunity for your business.

What is Shadow IT?

Shadow ITThe term Shadow IT, Invisible IT or Rogue IT refers to the use of hardware and/or software not authorized by the organization inside it. In the case of applications, this includes those that; having their origin within the company, have not been officially developed by a member of the IT department or those that; being of external origin, are not allowed to be used.



Shadow IT is a phenomenon that has occurred within enterprises long before cloud-based solutions appeared. However, it has been the phenomenon of Cloud Computing and its relationship with the Invisible IT that, thanks to its scope, has set off the alarms of IT security teams.

Among the most frequent examples, we can highlight the use of:

  • Cloud storage applications, such as Google Docs or Dropbox.
  • Non-permitted networks (such as the public Internet network).
  • Unauthorized BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
  • And in general, third-party applications in Cloud Computing Systems such as Software as a Service (SaaS).

One of the main reasons that motivate employees to use unauthorized applications in addition to their low cost is the easy access, maintenance, and deployment they offer.

What are the consequences that the inadequate management of the phenomenon of Shadow IT can bring?

Taking into account the frequency with which business users exercise Shadow IT; we can affirm that the inadequate handling of this phenomenon can bring important consequences related to the organization’s’ security. Among the most relevant effects we can highlight the following:

  • Vulnerability: The uncontrolled use of some tools can create security breaches that may allow, for example; the spread of malware infections.
  • Sensitive data leak: Through third-party applications that are not properly monitored by the IT security team.
  • Slow processes: The deployment of certain applications can slow or hinder the performance of the organization’s processes.
  • Inefficient problem solving: In the event that an Invisible IT device or application generates an incident; it can be difficult for IT professionals to find the source of the problem.

Shadow IT: From the challenge to the opportunity

While the effects of Rogue IT can be challenging for organizations, it is also true that through good management you can use this phenomenon to turn it into a business advantage. Let’s see some recommendations to successfully manage the Shadow IT:

Shadow IT

#1 Locate the Shadow IT

According to a survey by the Frost and Sullivan Institute, sponsored by McAfee; 80% of employees agree that they have incurred in this practice. This means that there is a high probability that this trend may be taking place in your organization.


Therefore, the best thing to do is to carry out an in-depth analysis that allows you to filter the exchange of information with external elements. From there, it will be easier for you to identify processes involving unauthorized solutions.

#2 Find the reason why

There are several reasons why an employee may be motivated to practice Shadow IT, such as the fact that this phenomenon allows users in the organization to use the latest applications without waiting for IT to verify or approve them.

Carry out an evaluation to determine the main reasons for the appearance of the Invisible IT. As a result, you will be able to obtain valuable information that will enable CIOs to take more effective measures to meet the user’s needs, related to the use of effective tools.

Shadow IT#3 Minimize the risks

Instead of banning the use of Shadow IT applications, seek to implement security solutions to control their use. Invest in a tool that allows you to protect your systems in a comprehensive way, by protecting the organization’s sensitive data both in the internal flow and in interactions in the cloud.


Such solutions should give you full visibility into your assets to help you locate any potential source of threats faster. For this, you can find one of the best options in the market in the tool.

4# Build up confidence

Finally, encourage open communication between users and CIOs; and also raise awareness of the benefits of using controlled applications within the enterprise.

Most importantly, do not hold back innovation. Whether employees develop applications or use tools in an unauthorized manner, these practices can be the perfect opportunity to find new ways to solve problems, increase workflow efficiency and improve business competitiveness through new tools. So look for a strategy that rather than prohibiting certain applications, allows you to support users in the use of innovative solutions.

If you want to take advantage of all the benefits of the digital transformation, with the reassurance of knowing that all your assets and data have the best protection, your best option is to purchase a high-tech security tool. Contact us for more information about our offers in or any other market-leading solution. In GB advisors we are committed to offering you the best advice from the hand of professionals.

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