If you’ve not heard the term ‘Shadow IT’ before, don’t panic! It’s a phrase that most people won’t associate with what it actually is. Shadow IT refers to software that’s installed by employees which hasn’t been approved by the business or IT department.

The chances are, your employees are using Shadow IT apps now without realising. And that’s a problem. Shadow IT can threaten your business in a number of ways, including security breaches and wasting company resources. As an SMB, this kind of risk could be fatal.

So it’s time to take action and consider a Shadow IT amnesty. Here’s why…

Why have a Shadow IT amnesty?

If you and your IT department have no idea what software your employees are downloading, how are you supposed to protect your business?

Open up the conversation between you and your employees and ask them to tell you what software they’ve got. The calendar app on their work laptop may be really useful for organising meetings, but if it hasn’t been through the necessary checks, who’s to say it won’t cause problems? Your priority is protecting your business.

Having a Shadow IT amnesty shows your employees that you trust them and that they won’t be penalised for the software they use. You’re simply opening up communication channels to better understand what works for them and stop any potential threats to the company.

Communication is key

Email out a list of all the Shadow IT that you’re aware of and ask employees to check which they use and add in any you’ve missed. Doing this will give you a clear picture of what’s most commonly used, so you can check for any potential security concerns and resource implications. You can then assess whether these apps would be a useful asset for all employees and should be included in your tech stack.

Let employees know why you’re doing this. Tell them about the potential security risks and waste of resources. If they’ve downloaded something perfectly innocently because it helps them work better, they won’t have thought there’s anything wrong with that. They’re being more productive after all.

It also could be a case of worry. Employees may be afraid to tell their manager about the apps they’ve downloaded, as they don’t want to get in trouble. Having an amnesty means your employees won’t need to worry about coming forward. They won’t be in any trouble and there’ll be no negative implications. Remove that fear factor and your business will run more smoothly, effectively and positively.

Security, time and costs managed? Yes please!

We’ve got you covered! With a fully managed cloud solution, Fasthosts ProActive will prioritise protecting your data. Working with us gives your business a more secure way of working. We'll ensure that Shadow IT is identified and managed so you'll know what's in your business toolkit at all times, and that it's not going to cause a problem at any point.

With Fasthosts ProActive, you can rest easy knowing no matter the time, someone is always keeping an eye on your data. We’ll monitor your infrastructure 24/7 to identify vulnerabilities and work with you to take early action and prevent cyber threats. Plus, we’ll make sure your infrastructure is always backed up, so if anything happens, there’s always a copy. We’ll help your business run more efficiently, manage your costs and keep things up and running.

Got a question? Our support team is here to answer any queries you may have. Just give them a call on 0333 111 2000.

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Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson

Content Editor

More posts by Laura Wilson.