Implementing proper IT solutions is challenging for the average SMB, and it’s difficult without the aid of a proper IT department. Organizations that can’t afford a full in-house IT department sometimes resort to less savory methods of managing their technology, which can be dangerous for business continuity, data storage compliance, and security.
The term for this is shadow IT. Shadow IT generally consists of IT solutions that are integrated without oversight on the matter. For example, having an employee set up a free antivirus on his workstation, while better than no antivirus at all, isn’t the ideal solution to your business’s security problems. Going behind the backs of your trusted technology professionals isn’t the right way to approach business technology solutions.
In this case, the employee might have had the best interests of the organization in mind, but they went about the implementation of new tech in the wrong way. Instead of doing it themselves, they should have asked for permission, or contacted the staff member in charge of making the business’s IT decisions. What would happen if the solution weren’t set up properly? The blame would fall on the employee, even though all they wanted to do was make their job easier.
Another reason why shadow IT might resurface is if there’s an immediate issue that needs to be resolved, but your IT staff doesn’t have the time or money to implement it right away. This could prompt a frustrated employee to resort to “home-grown” solutions that may (or may not) be similar to other tools on the market. Again, the problem here is that there are untrained employees implementing solutions that aren’t enterprise-level. This should never happen; you only want those who have the expertise, knowledge, and relevant training to implement new technology solutions.
So, in theory, we can explain the implementation of shadow IT with two reasons: 1) The absence of a dedicated in-house IT department, which forces employees to perform maintenance themselves, and 2) An overloaded IT department that’s too busy to deal with spontaneous or recurrent issues. Either employees are given complete and total jurisdiction for performing system maintenance on their workstations, or IT is too busy with their day-to-day routines to aid in the implementation of both new and previously existing IT. What’s the busy business owner to do?
In this case, the ideal solution is to contact Think Tank NTG and ask about our managed IT services. Our offerings are ideal for SMBs because they fulfill two critical functions for small business management: 1) We provide enterprise-level solutions at a reasonable monthly price, and 2) We free your staff from the burden of regular IT maintenance and implementation of new solutions. We aren’t out to necessarily replace your in-house team (if you have one, that is), but what we can say with certainty is that they’ll have more time to innovate without dealing with regular tech hiccups.
Regardless of whether or not you have dedicated in-house IT support, we can provide your business with the flexibility needed to fully leverage your technology. For more information about our managed IT service offering, give Think Tank NTG a call at 800-501-DATA.