October 5, 2017

Strategic Partnership Group Meeting: Creating "Partnership" Between Sourcing Groups and Shadow IT

Our last Strategic Partnership Group meeting was incredibly collaborative with Allen Green Shadow IT(Senior Director, Vendor Relationships & Portfolio Management at Supervalu) asking our panelists about Creating “Partnership” Between Sourcing Groups and Shadow IT. The audience jumped in right away to share their thoughts as well as ask the panelists questions surrounding the topic. A huge thanks to our panelists, Tom Lavin (Senior Consultant for York Solutions at Xcel Energy), Nadine Parris (Senior Manager at Supervalu), Bernie Sheller (Director of IT at Prime Therapeutics), and Alicia Getman (Senior Director, Program Planning at Prime Therapeutics), for sharing their insights and experiences with shadow IT.

What is shadow IT?

Shadow IT is often established and implemented within an organization without the knowledge or approval from of an organization's IT department. According to Gartner’s Richard Gordon, 30% of technology spending occurs outside of the IT department. So, what continues to drive it?

Factors that drive shadow IT

Throughout the discussion, there were two factors that were continuously hit on as driving factors of shadow IT – speed and cost. Of course, everyone wants results that are less expensive and faster. At first, this sounds appealing; however, that’s not always the case in the long run when people choose to go around the IT department.

Pitfalls of shadow IT

Shadow IT can lead to negative business impacts. Without the guidance of IT, outside systems divide user allegiance between multiple applications, forcing the constant importing and exporting of data. This eventually leads to data loss, as well as inconsistencies. One of the major risks with shadow IT is security. McAfee-sponsored research found that over 80% of users admit to using some sort of non-approved IT tool to help perform their job. But, this raises the concern of whether these tools are aligned with your firm’s security and compliance standards.

What is the best way to manage shadow IT?

Ultimately, it appears that the strategy, goals, and priorities between the business department and IT department are not always aligned. When our panelists were asked to summarize the discussion, there was a common theme: relationships. Creating strong relationships within the organization plays a key factor in bridging the gap between a company’s business and IT departments. There may be a “language” barrier and the two departments look at situations differently. Do not be afraid to reach out to your business partners, build that relationship, and show them what the situation looks like from an IT perspective.

How does your organization handle “shadow IT”?


Posted by: Anna Wischmann

Tags:  Strategic Partnerships Group, Shadow IT

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