Following the increase of cloud computing, the use of Shadow IT has become much more normalised (cf numbers below), threatening businesses and increasing the challenges met by the IT management teams. But what is it exactly ? Can no-code and low-code be a solution against shadow IT ?
Shadow IT: a definition
Shadow IT is the term used to refer to the systems of information and communication that are used, created and bought by companies and businesses without the approval of the Information Technology (IT) management. The shadow metaphor is basically a reflection of the fact that these practices are hidden from the IT management. Shadow IT is regularly used to create or buy apps for instance. While it can help tremendously in terms of productivity, Shadow IT still comes with risks.
Framing the problem of Shadow IT
The risks generated by the recurrent use of Shadow IT can be considerable as the graph below attests, and show that Shadow IT is mainly a liability for businesses.
(Source: BMC Software)
Higher chances of data leaks
Shadow IT creates a huge security problem for the company. Indeed, with Shadow IT comes the daunting prospect of data leaks. Precisely because IT teams are not aware of those potential threats, they cannot counter these potential attacks as efficiently as they normally would. Hence, the tech analyst Gartner, in its 2016 Top 10 Security Predictions announced that “by 2020, a third of successful attacks experienced by enterprises will be on their shadow IT resources”. It then recommends that, in order to avoid such problems, “companies should find a way to track Shadow IT, and create a culture of acceptance and protection versus detection and punishment”.
Waste of time and money
Another downside of Shadow IT lies in the fact that it creates more applications, thus spreading information and increasing the difficulty to properly exploit the data encountered. Ultimately, this also adds hidden costs to organisations, because the teams tackling Shadow IT are mostly composed of non-IT workers who spend a significant amount of time discussing and re-checking the validity of certain data, setting up and managing systems and software without experience. It also implies that less time can be spent on innovation that could be beneficial for said company.
Gradually, inconsistencies are likely to occur due to the accumulation of small differences from one version to another, as the documents are constantly spread out and modified. Even the method or the process itself can be distorted.
Not optimal for Return on Investment (ROI)
Shadow IT applications can present a least optimal ROI compared to systems that are designed to perform the functions now replaced by Shadow IT.
No Code and Low Code’s response: why is it efficient to counter Shadow IT?
Contrary to the common misconception that no-code and low-code platforms encourage or at least contribute to the development of Shadow IT, these platforms actually reduce the risks attached to the recurrent use of Shadow IT.
No code and low code platforms such as 2OS make the use of Shadow IT if not irrelevant, at least less useful. They also enable the improvement of the communication between IT management and companies.
The 2OS no-code platform against Shadow-IT
2OS can be used to mitigate shadow IT, if supervised by the central IT department. Listed below are a few ways to reach that goal.
Developers can interact with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in the language with which they are the most comfortable. Thus, they are more likely to keep using the no-code platform as they can adjust the visual interface that they have at their disposal whenever they see fit. This is a huge advantage and the promptness that characterises it implies that there is no need for customers to look for alternative applications as they can create new ones themselves.
The act of programming consists of creating and dropping graphics, and enables you to build powerful, customisable databases and workflow optimised to meet your specific needs. You can then start using them as soon as they have been built.
Additionally, 2OS provides your business scalability and the opportunity to extend its use from a single individual to the entire company.
No-code tools are quick and adaptable and make it easy to share knowledge between teams, and that encourages collaboration and flexibility. To find out more about no code and low code, you can read this article.
2OS gives you a secure digital sandbox in which you can build the type of business software you need. Indeed, cloud-based no-code platforms can be created to suit the user’s expectations. Regardless of your programming knowledge, you can easily learn how to use them so as to build what you need thanks to the visual interface. That means that it is no longer necessary for your employees or coworkers to create and use their own crafted IT solutions, non-approved by the central IT department to achieve what they want: 2OS already covers them !