Embracing Shadow IT to Improve Enterprise Collaboration

“IT isn’t transforming the workforce, what’s happening is the workforce is transforming IT,” said Intel Corp. CIO, Kim Stevenson, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. Stevenson made this statement on the topic of Shadow IT to convince IT leaders that the discovery of Shadow IT can give CIOs new opportunities to demonstrate business value.

business people sitting at table
Though “Shadow IT” and “business value” together sound incongruous, Stevenson says that when Shadow IT is exposed, it reveals invaluable knowledge to IT departments of what employees truly need. Rather than only increasing policy enforcements to control employee behavior, IT departments can embrace Shadow IT and provide a solution that will benefit the entire enterprise. Stevenson said that embracing Shadow IT to transition to enterprise-class alternatives is a way to “get things under control without diminishing the user experience.”

Solving Shadow IT for File Sharing

What if IT leaders would “embrace Shadow IT” when they discover the use of unsanctioned file sharing apps in their enterprise? Leaders may be quick to react in worry when they find out employees are using these unsecure apps to share sensitive information, and rightfully so. These apps not only go against corporate policies but against regulations that demand the security of data. But the value that IT leaders can gain from the discovery of Shadow IT can be just as important for future IT decisions.

If you are an IT leader and discover that your employees are actively using free file sharing apps, your best next step is to find out why they are being used. Many employees are secretly using their own file sharing applications to bypass complex systems like FTP because of its obsolete functionality and interfaces. They also may be using them because their corporate email has file attachment limits and they needed a quick way to send something out. Possibly the biggest reason employees are using consumer file sharing apps is so they can work from their own devices when they are on-the-go. Though the reasons vary in each enterprise, IT leaders who embrace these needs will be the most successful at reducing the use of unsecure file sharing and make the next step towards improved collaboration.

Use Thru to Reduce Shadow IT

Thru’s goal is to help CIOs and IT Directors solve the issue of unsanctioned file sharing and also give employees easy-to-use solutions to increase productivity. Companies that use the Thru Platform are able to help employees send files of any size using intuitive interfaces. With out-of-the-box integrations with Outlook, Salesforce and IBM Notes, employees can securely collaborate within their current business applications.

According to architectural and engineering firm, BSA LifeStructures, “We had been using an in-house FTP site to handle larger file transfers, which quickly became a headache. Our users now find the Thru platform very easy to use. Clients and vendors comment about how easy it is to access secured data we send to them. A win-win for everyone.”

Simply commanding employees to stop using unsecure file sharing applications is not enough. No matter how hard IT leaders try to control their organizations’ data, employees can always resort to unsecure solutions if they choose. A highly effective method to earning employee cooperation with corporate policies is by providing solutions like Thru that are flexible enough to meet any requirements of enterprises.

Learn more about how Thru secures enterprise file sharing.

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