Communication in IT key to warding off the rogue technology culprits

Rogue IT: healthy or unhealthy? Communication in IT -- and across the organization -- is critical to keeping shadow IT at bay, our tweet jammers say.

More from our chat about rogue IT

Benefits and pitfalls of rogue IT

Rethinking the definition of 'rogue'

Much to CIOs' dismay, the security threats associated with rogue technology haven't stopped employees from choosing quick, over-the-counter products to complete work tasks. These rogue technology decisions include choosing mobile phones based on personal preference, selecting cloud solutions that work on both company-issued and private devices, and using applications not formally approved or monitored by the organization's IT department.

So-called rogue IT -- also referred to as shadow IT -- has become more prevalent due to the consumerization of technology. That led SearchCIO Executive Editor Linda Tucci to ask our March rogue-themed tweet jam participants about the implications of rogue IT:

We built off Tucci's inquiry by asking participants to identify the difference between healthy and unhealthy rogue IT. SearchCompliance Site Editor Ben Cole suggested the following in making the distinction:

Our tweet jam expert, Bart Murphy, CIO and chief technology officer at the CareWorks Family of Companies, was hesitant to pronounce any aspect of rogue IT healthy:

No matter your stance, an emerging focus on rogue and shadow IT is likely to influence the decision making processes at your organization from both an IT and a business standpoint. We queried:

As with most relationships, effective communication in IT and across the organization is essential in taming rogue technology. IT departments must be prepared to initiate discussions about the technologies users really use:

With an emphasis on improved communication around IT -- and, perhaps more importantly, examining what people actually use -- technology leaders are more likely to discover previously unidentified rogue deployments:

More frequent communication about IT usage can lead to a mutual understanding of technology decision making and limit the damage done by rogue IT. As participant Brian Katz says, when CIOs focus on user needs, rogue IT is just IT.

So, is rogue IT a healthy or an unhealthy development? It depends what you make of it:

Follow @SearchCIO on Twitter to learn about our next #CIOChat on Wednesday, April 30, at 3 p.m. EDT (topic TBA).

This was first published in April 2014

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