How to Embrace Rogue IT

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 02-01-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How to Embrace Rogue IT
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    How to Embrace Rogue IT

    Although the prevailing wisdom is to fight rogue IT because of inherent security risks, embracing it can lead to innovation and competitive advantage.
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    Alter Your Mindset
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    Alter Your Mindset

    Rogue IT is the foundation upon which innovation can be built. Rather than being restricted by traditional application and product development processes, non-IT teams can rapidly deploy solutions matching business requirements, thus accelerating new cost savings and resource efficiencies.
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    Embrace Innovation
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    Embrace Innovation

    CIOs must begin designing IT strategies that embrace capital IT, finding new ways to leverage non-IT team projects for competitive advantage.
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    Discovery Is Critical
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    Discovery Is Critical

    Don't underestimate the power of information. Get fully educated on both authorized and unauthorized IT projects and usage taking place across the organization.
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    Use Discovery Analysis Tools
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    Use Discovery Analysis Tools

    A comprehensive IT discovery analysis tool can help locate unauthorized IT projects by identifying global activity and pinpointing the most useful rogue projects to embrace.
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    Ease the Burden
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    Ease the Burden

    Most IT departments are understaffed and overworked. As a result, CIOs become order takers, responding to most requests as they arise. Rogue IT means IT departments can become more proactive, focusing on strategic deliverables.
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    Focus on Education
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    Focus on Education

    Although Rogue IT is not new, much of it has been kept secret and its value to the global enterprise minimized. CIOs must begin leading with education, building open discussions and forums with both executives and employees.
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    Support Best Practice Applications
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    Support Best Practice Applications

    Focusing on education also ensures that IT can support the most innovative projects while developing and repurposing best-practice applications for use throughout the organization.
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    Secure Rather Than Restrict
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    Secure Rather Than Restrict

    Instead of eliminating rogue projects, CIOs should set boundaries to conform to compliance, regulatory, and security rules. Determine where employees add value and apply the appropriate policies without killing the project.
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    Rank Security Risks
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    Rank Security Risks

    By grading the security risk against the potential opportunity, IT can implement policies that encourage, rather than restrict, innovation.
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    Potential Competitive Advantage
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    Potential Competitive Advantage

    Although CIOs may fear losing control because of rogue IT, little freedom can go a long way. Before limiting unauthorized activity, first see what can be gained by embracing it. Rogue IT might just give you a much-needed competitive advantage.
 

You might as well embrace rogue IT, or shadow IT, which will continue to grow in importance, and its impact will be felt globally, according to Tim Kelleher, vice president of IT Security Services at Century Link. Rogue IT might just lead to innovation and competitive advantage, he says. Employees increasingly will bypass corporate IT by subscribing to new collaboration, analytics or other cloud services to get work done, he says. Others will build homegrown applications via the cloud and other development platforms. This trend to remove power from corporate hands is enough to strike fear in any CIO because security risks and bandwidth restrictions can accompany each new project. On the other hand, "while the natural tendency is to limit unauthorized usage," says Kelleher, "rogue IT can prove very useful to organizations today, driving new levels of innovation and productivity." But he cautions that fear of the unknown always creates anxiety, so it's important to quickly get up to speed on unauthorized activity. Education is also critical, making it possible to better match corporate strategies with these projects. Now is also the time to think differently about rogue IT, to understand its benefits and see how best to align the infrastructure. Below are his suggestions on how to do just that.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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