How To Manage The Rise Of Shadow IT

Posted by Annelise Fasnacht on Oct 28, 2018 11:17:00 AM

As troublesome as it might be for your company’s IT departments, your employees who use unauthorized messaging and conferencing apps to do business have very good reasons for doing so. So-called “shadow IT,” or technology that your company has not approved for communication purposes, is so appealing because it comprises tools that people are familiar and comfortable with, and for employees, it can often feel like the shortest distance between two points. But the convenience comes with a price: your IT department can’t manage these tools, nor can they ensure the security of the software. Employees using unauthorized apps can leave your company vulnerable to security breaches and frustrate IT attempts at solving problems. So let’s look at a few ways you can get your team on board with the conferencing and communication solutions you have implemented.

Establish A Clear Policy Around Communication Tools

Don’t leave anything to chance. Don’t assume your employees will somehow intuit your stance on communication tools. Take the time to develop a carefully considered corporate policy that establishes guidelines around employees’ personal devices and third-party apps. Without defining boundaries and limits, there will be no way to properly and effectively police the vulnerabilities in your company’s communication and collaboration network.

Explain And Educate

Explicit policies that limit or restrict employee behavior do not go over well without lucid and convincing explanations for why the policy exists in the first place. If you put no time or effort into educating your employees about how unauthorized communication practices threaten your company at every level, your policies might be interpreted as arbitrary and unreasonably strict measures. But at the very least, they deserve to know what is at stake. And once they do, odds are good they will see where you’re coming from and make adjustments to their communication habits.

Provide The Right Tools

If you find your employees resisting your company’s communication tools in favor of unsanctioned messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, it could be that you are providing communication and collaboration tools that fail to match the ease and convenience offered by unauthorized platforms. All-in-one conferencing and collaboration solutions like Cisco Spark can give you and your employees the best of both worlds: a flexible and user-friendly messaging service that you and your IT department can monitor and manage.

There’s no reason to be at odds with your employees over an issue that can be easily resolved with clear communication and appropriate tools. You can all be on the same page with the right collaboration solution.

Learn more about mobile conferencing solutions and contact us if you have any questions. We will have one of our experts get back to you shortly. If there is anything else you’re looking for, use our Advanced Search tool to find it.

As always, keep an eye on our blog for dispatches from the front lines of the video conferencing and collaboration industry.

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