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The Challenge of Shadow IT

 

We're hearing from a lot of customers that they're embracing agile methodologies with DevOps initiatives. In some cases, there's a push to move on premise infrastructure to cloud services. A lot of best practices are changing rapidly to get new initiatives implemented for end users. What's at stake is a trade-off between the speed required to deliver services vs the risk of low quality and at risk exposure to services that might fail without adequate support.

 

Some IT operations staff have a pretty tight hold on what developers and others who request IT services are doing with secure, mature, and high quality change management systems that ensure quality delivery. Others don't. The enterprise might allow more freedom and some IT initiatives go unmanaged and surface as what some are calling shadow IT. That is, savvy, well meaning and even loyal to the bottom line employees are doing whatever it takes to add value and provide results to what they perceive is the greatest good for the greatest number in a sense while avoiding traditional IT processes altogether.

 

As an example, Dropbox and other cloud, file-sharing tools used to be and are still forbidden in many enterprises and for many government agencies. People would still use them and it would be surprise when this traffic was discovered going over the corporate LAN with reckless abandon. Now, many IT departments have embraced this technology and pay for and use a business version of these file sharing tools on a regular basis.

 

Introducing Bimodal IT Strategies

 

As Gartner defines it, Bimodal IT is an organizational model that segments services into two categories based on application requirements, maturity and criticality. “Mode 1 is traditional, emphasizing scalability, efficiency, safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is nonsequential, emphasizing agility and speed.”

 

Think of it as having mighty lions and agile cats in your IT strategies for delivering services.

 

At BMC, we're working very hard to deliver solutions that allow IT Operations to meet the needs of both modes. For Mode 1, we've got TrueSight Operations Management and TrueSight Capacity Optimization. For Mode 2, we've now got TrueSight Pulse released last fall and TrueSight Intelligence being released now.

 

We'd like to know how customers are now working with both Mode 1 and Mode 2 and what we can do to keep some of the shadow IT headaches from surfacing. For example, let's say you have someone very talented in getting things done in your disaster recovery department and they've written a lot of scripts that help them get their job done and backup and recovery drills always seem to get pulled off without a hitch. Then they leave the company. No one can make heads or tails of what this person was doing with the scripts.

 

Here's a great article for further reading: Bimodal IT Doesn't Mean Bipolar Organizations: The Path to IT Transformation

 

Where to next?

IT Operations Management

SaaS-Based Monitoring

IT Operations Analytics