Blog Top 7 ITSM trends for 2014 and beyond: Shadow IT and IT as a service broker
Trend number five in our series of blog posts on the top seven ITSM trends for 2014 is Shadow IT and IT as a service broker.
Just as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) empowers employees, the easy availability of cloud solutions empowers business units to source their own technology. BYOD and shadow IT are essentially the same thing – using technology in the workplace where IT isn’t the provider.
Instant access to technology with no heavy capital investment and no need for supporting IT infrastructure means that business managers can rent technology under the radar of both the CIO and the CFO. The problem is, with IT out of the loop, business units can get themselves into a mess when they don’t consider the implementation, integration, security and support factors that surround enterprise technology.
Although this Shadow IT trend empowers business units to drive their own projects, productivity and profitability, there are big issues around risk and governance. IT should be involved in any technology outsourcing projects to provide expertise and apply governance. As it stands, few business units will have the level of technical expertise that is required to safely implement all but the smallest cloud technology projects. The knowledge to do so still lives within the IT department.
Organizations that give business units a completely free hand to purchase their own cloud technology will ultimately experience higher costs and higher risks. The IT department fits into the equation as a service broker, providing end-to end advice across the lifecycle of the technology – supporting selection, vendor relationships, consolidated procurement, implementation, integration, security and support.
So, business unit managers can purchase their own apps and infrastructure to support new projects. But if IT is cut out of the equation, business units will continue to acquire cloud apps and infrastructure until each unit effectively has its own technology group and its own virtual datacenter distributed across the cloud. This means that the ownership and governance of technology will fundamentally change shape – from a single IT department silo to many line-of-business technology silos. Integration will become a problem, particularly between business functions. So a big part of the new role of IT is to enable some form of cohesion running across the business to prevent fragmentation.
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