I can’t resist a bargain and recently got some bookcases, a cabinet, and a table. I knew they would look great in the house, and the prices were so reasonable. Oh, yeah, they all required assembly. Of course, when I selected those items, I had no intention of putting them together myself. After all, I can barely keep up with children when I struggle to assemble Legos designed for ages ten and above. I knew that my other half would volunteer to help, but he was also very busy. While he was quite capable of the task and enjoyed this type of work, I didn’t want to wait until he had a free weekend. That would have delayed the assembly for more than month. So, I considered hiring a handyman for the same reasons that people at work consider going around IT to get business services — a concept known as Shadow IT. It just seemed faster and easier.
Then I thought more about this challenge, which I’ll call Shadow Assembly, and imagined him walking into the house and finding the work had already been done without consulting him on the home project. So instead, I discussed my requirements and timeframe with him. He had good ideas about the assembly process and which handyman to use. Instead of going around the “expert,” I engaged him in the decision, and he provided some valuable suggestions related to outsourcing the project. I got the furniture on my timeframe, he didn’t have to give up a weekend, and the work met our requirements. We were both happy.
This type of pleasant outcome can be experienced in your organization when IT, as the expert, begins to think of external resources as a way to complement internal IT resources. In this article in VIEWPOINT, Shadow IT: Are You Solving Problem or Just Policing It?, BMC’s CIO Mark Settle explains how IT is in the best position to manage both internal and external resources and make recommendations based on user needs and business requirements. He describes how users should be encouraged to go through, rather than around, IT. He discusses how the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management platform helps to bring IT out of the shadows by providing access to the public cloud for certain workloads while still maintaining management and control over these resources.
By maintaining a strong, positive relationship with your end users and being open to their ideas about how their needs are met, you have happy end users and happy IT.