Shadow IT EUC Management
Shadow IT EUC Management

Shadow IT Management: Choosing the Right Data Privacy Software, Part 4

In nearly every company, there exists what’s called “Shadow IT,” meaning those digital assets – spreadsheets, documents, hardware, software, web services, cloud applications and other items – that are managed and utilized without the oversight or knowledge of the enterprise’s IT department.

This may sound nefarious, but isn’t: It’s partly a result of End User Computing (EUC), as employees have increasingly turned to cloud-based business applications to raise their productivity.

According to the American Bar Association, in large enterprises the average number of cloud applications used per employee is 36.  The scope of Shadow IT has even been expanded to now include personal technology that employees bring into the workplace for use during working hours, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and so on.

EUC tools and assets, since they’re vital to the work of the employees using them, are central to your everyday operations. Most managers wouldn’t ask employees to stop using Excel, for instance.

But they can create risk: A spreadsheet may contain erroneous data that causes incorrect strategic decisions, or a document might hold personal information on a customer or employee that’s in violation of data privacy laws.

In an era where data privacy is a primary focus of both regulators and the C-suite –it’s predicted that by 2021, 100% of large companies worldwide will have a CISO position – EUC discovery and management is vital to any company’s full-fledged data privacy initiative.

Needed: An effective EUC Management solution

So you need to be able to comprehensively discover and manage this “Shadow IT” and mitigate potential risks without disrupting your employees’ work. There are relatively few full-featured software solutions, as yet, dedicated to EUC/Shadow IT management.  But businesses are realizing it’s a real need. 

Manual discovery and reviews can be a big drain on resources, or don’t deliver the confidence your business requires from its data for compliance reporting, financial and managerial analytics, and other uses.  Thus, companies are turning toward automated solutions to provide EUC management without the costs and errors of manual processes.

A checklist for an EUC/Shadow IT management solution

Here’s what to demand from a product claiming it can help you uncover and manage hidden spreadsheets, files, and data across your enterprise.

  • It should, at the very least, deliver on the mission of identifying critical files and revealing the End User Computing (EUC) applications and assets hidden across your business.
  • It should maintain a comprehensive inventory of all EUCs including version histories and audit trails of changes.
  • It should be able to reveal links, hidden code and text, and broken formulae within key Excel files.
  • It has to be able to track data to uncover data lineage/life cycles across business-critical processes.
  • It should be able to evaluate and mitigate potential EUC risk.
  • It should incorporate easy-to-use dashboards, regular reports, and exception alerts.
  • It should incorporate easy-to-use dashboards, regular reports, and exception alerts.
  • It has to increase efficiency by reducing the time spent manually checking for errors.
  • It should integrate with other enterprise operational risk and BI solutions.