IT leaders rethink definition of 'rogue IT' and focus on user needs

Bring your own technology has CIOs reconsidering their definition of 'rogue IT' and refocusing their attention on user needs and innovation.

The general consensus among participants during our recent rogue IT-themed tweet jam was that "rogue IT" and "shadow

IT" might not be the best terms to describe the unsanctioned bring-your-own-technology movement in enterprises today.

The word definition of rogue implies a negative connotation suggesting deception or unreliability, or it is used to describe a person who is playfully mischievous or sneaky. Employees using their own devices and preferred applications for business matters aren't necessarily deceiving or rebelling for the sake of it, but rather in an effort to simplify their work processes:

As Brian Azzopardi suggests, there are two perspectives on rogue IT: the view of IT departments struggling to maintain control of technology seemingly run amuck, and the perspective of users who simply want to use new tools to be more effective at their jobs. As discussed in our first tweet jam recap, participants stated that rogue IT can translate to more opportunities for innovation:

According to Jack Gold, president and principal analyst at J. Gold Associates LLC, rogue doesn't properly encapsulate why users turn to unsanctioned IT. Shadow might be a more appropriate moniker, but Gold also offered a longer, sunnier take:

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Through crowdsourcing, the accumulation of collective intelligence and support from users can lead to backing for projects and initiatives. Similarly, the FUN (focus on user needs) principle is an approach to IT management that places emphasis on improving users' experiences and satisfying their needs. A recent SearchCIO interview with Dell's CIO offered advice on how to inspire a crowdsourced, "FUN" environment:

Does current terminology give unsanctioned IT a bad name? How would you rework the definition of "rogue IT" to better describe its role in the enterprise? Please sound off in the comments section below.

To view the full #CIOChat conversation, search the discussion hashtag on Twitter. Our next SearchCIO tweet jam will be on Wednesday, April 30, at 3 p.m. EST (topic TBA). Pencil us in!

This was first published in April 2014

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