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Shadow IT flourishes when organizations stifle collaborations

A majority of U.S.-based IT professionals believe that their organizations could gain a competitive edge if leaders were more collaborative about finding solutions to “shadow” IT needs from both IT and non-IT employees.

Those are the results from security technology provider Entrust Datacard, which surveyed 1,000 IT professionals, and found that 77 percent say they believe that their organizations would benefit if leaders were more collaborative with their businesses about finding ways to let employees be more productive without introducing security risks.

As organizations adapt to changing technologies, employees are eager to use productivity tools that help them function more efficiently—even if these tools are outside the company’s IT rules and processes, the report said.

These products might include file hosting services or personal smartphones on the corporate network that introduce serious security blind spots for management, the study noted. As a result, businesses need to find out how to balance enterprise security with employee productivity.

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Slow IT approval processes can frustrate employees and lead them to introduce security risks to organizations, the report noted. Only 12 percent of the IT departments surveyed follow up on all employee requests for new technologies.

Although IT departments are aware of the security risks of shadow IT to their organizations, most employees are not. More than one third (37 percent) of the IT employees surveyed said their organization does not have clearly outlined internal consequences for when employees bring on new technologies without IT approval.

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