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August 19, 2014

How blocking BYOD leads to shadow IT

And here’s how to deal with the issue.

By Joe Curtis

More and more workers are turning to shadow IT when their IT departments do not meet their requirements, it is claimed.

Issues including risk and compliance, a lack of skills and resources are preventing IT pros from implementing progressive strategies such as BYOD, leading employees to do it themselves, according to analyst house Ovum.

The research firm found that 70% of UK organisations have no BYOD strategy, yet workers still bring their own tablets, though only half of IT departments actually react to this by authorising these devices.

Meanwhile, 65% of the 100 IT decision makers surveyed admitted their employees using file sync and share solutions at work were using freemium consumer products.

Despite these statistics, the survey, commissioned by IT services firm Dimension Data, also found that 71% of respondents believed BYOD could help boost profits and revenue.

Jim Barrett, end user computing manager at Dimension Data, said: "[IT strategies] should go beyond supporting a desktop only computing environment, to taking a device-agnostic, user-centric focus, thus removing the need for employees to ‘do IT’ for themselves and enable access to applications and data from any location."

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Ovum principal analyst Richard Edwards added: "Growth in the use of employee-owned devices and self-selected applications is changing the face of the end-user computing environment, yet many organisations continue with outmoded, desktop-only computing strategies."

He suggested that successful companies would engage with their workforces to succeed, a view reflected by that of Betfair CIO Michael Bischoff.

Speaking at a recent VMware event, he said: "If you adopt the approach of ‘we’re going to beat you up because you did that’, your shadow IT isn’t going to get any smaller.

"What you must be able to do is engage with people after they’ve made those decisions and say ‘how can we help get you the best out of this?’"

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