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Posted by David Jones ● 8/17/20 10:04 AM

4 Ways to Eliminate Shadow IT

If you’re reading this blog - you’re probably already familiar with “Shadow IT”, or the practice of employees figuring out ways to get around things that their current IT systems either make difficult or cannot deliver. One of the classic examples of shadow IT is where users take it upon themselves to turn to cloud-based file sync and share tools, typically to share content outside of the corporate firewall.

Regardless of exactly what the Shadow IT is used for, or the corporate policy the users are trying to get around, the reality is that for most organizations, controlling or eliminating this employee trend is a bit like trying to plug a hole in the dam with your finger. And who can blame the users anyway? If your company’s collaboration tools for business are outdated and unsupportive of modern ways of work then Shadow IT will remain a beast that will be hard to tame for a long time. The only way to remove Shadow IT is to provide a solution that actually works for users and that they like using.

So, to avoid soggy fingers and leaky security practices around your company information management - we’ve put together 4 recommendations to help you eliminate shadow IT once and for all.

Embrace the Cloud

There are plenty of concerns associated with employees turning to their personal devices and apps to be more productive in the workplace...and for good reason. But there is also great opportunity for organizations that are open to leveraging the trend by adopting tools that fall within what Gartner calls the New Work Nucleus. Tools that fall into this category include productivity apps like Google Workspace and Slack - solutions that can complement internal IT to empower employees with the team collaboration tools they know and love.

Rather than trying to shut down apps and devices in the office, executives and IT decision-makers should instead tap to the potential by embracing the value that cloud based technology and online collaboration tools can bring to the workplace. The key is providing robust security and controls that protect sensitive data and empower workers with superior capabilities and services that can be managed in a secure environment.

Make Collaboration Tools a Business Priority

Collaboration will be one of the biggest factors contributing to the success of any business in the next decade. Companies that actively work to leverage collaboration as an organizational skill are five times more likely to be high performing. This means establishing the ability to securely share files and collaborate on content at ANY point in its lifecycle. But more importantly, to be able to do that in a secure way, in a manner that fits in with the organizational structure and permissions throughout the enterprise.

Adopt a New Way of Working

Collaboration is the way forward - not just for users but also at a system level. For example, with AODocs integrations, you can securely connect all of your content and files from Google Drive with your favorite sales, productivity, security, and collaboration tools. Whether it be document management systems, instant messaging platforms, communication tools, or sales solutions that your employees use every day. We make sure that your content can flow between your systems, your workers can make the most of their time and effort, and that your content remains secure as the backbone of your enterprise.

Integrate Content, Process and Controls

Duplicate files, old document versions, and unnecessary back-and-forth between employees to edit content all lead to wasted time and a lack of overall productivity. By storing all your content, processes, and controls onto one connected platform - this burden is eliminated and productivity naturally begins to increase.

AODocs tightly integrates with the Google Workspace collaboration platform to ensure that all your teams have access to all the files that they need in one place - while also adding a robust layer of document control and security, and without duplicating your content. Using AODocs with Google Workspace also allows you to adopt much more advanced document management capabilities and file sharing - such as workflows based on files stored in google drive, automation, document lifecycle management, advanced file deposition, and much more.

Eliminating Shadow IT - Next Steps

Daily work life can be easier, better, and more enjoyable - and without requiring Shadow IT to make it that way. Now is the time for organizations to reimagine how information, technology, and people can and must work together to create new opportunities, faster innovations, and improve organizational performance in the future. When you keep your teams connected with their content, they’ll show you what they can really do - but you can’t do it with the same old internal systems of yesterday - you need to involve the users and bring cloud-based systems out of the shadows and into the light.

Below are some further resources that can help you put your next foot forward toward eliminating Shadow IT and delivering employees the business experience they’re calling for:

Tags: Document Management, Technology