58% expect shadow IT to grow in 2 years: SolarWinds survey

58 percent expect the use of shadow IT to increase in the next 2 years, said a survey by SolarWinds, a provider of IT performance management software.

12 percent of respondents indicated that shadow IT — when IT systems and solutions are built and used inside organizations without explicit organizational approval — is an area of high importance and leadership focus in their agency.

Shadow IT ranked second among areas that IT departments have least control over in terms of management and monitoring.
13 percent are very confident in their ability to protect against the negative consequences of shadow IT.

71 percent indicate that security consequences are the biggest issue with shadow IT, followed by duplication of IT efforts (50 percent), lack of interoperability (37 percent) and lack of adequate performance monitoring (36 percent).

The IT survey revealed that as shadow IT and mobile device use continues to expand within federal IT environments, some IT pros lack control in their ability to manage the accompanying security risks. The adoption and benefits of IT shared services are overcoming organizational resistance.

36 percent said only agency-owned mobile devices are allowed to access to their systems, but 80 percent still believe that mobile devices pose a threat to their agency’s security and 35 percent don’t provide security training for mobile device users. 25 percent are very confident in their agency’s ability to effectively protect their organization’s data.
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65 percent utilize data encryption, 60 percent firewall rule audits, 55 percent mobile device wiping, 52 percent mobile application inventory and authorization, and 52 percent two-factor authentication to secure mobile devices, but 35 percent haven’t deployed any of these solutions.

43 percent indicated that securing both the application and the device was the most challenging aspect of mobile technology security followed by ensuring devices are not infected by malware (37 percent) and that data is not accessed by unauthorized users (36 percent).

Despite perceived concerns that IT shared services would compromise security, performance and control, more than half of respondents see them as beneficial to all agency stakeholders, including IT department personnel, end users, agency leadership and citizens/constituents.

Respondents rated the key benefits of shared services as saving money by eliminating duplication (60 percent), achieving economies of scale (54 percent) and standardized IT services for consistent performance (52 percent).

More than 80 percent believe that either an internal shared services model or an outsourced private partnership is most likely to provide superior customer service versus no shared services.

The biggest widespread adoption barriers for shared services include cultural resistance to change (56 percent), perceived decreased flexibility (37 percent) and lack of executive buy-in (37 percent).

Joel Dolisy, CIO and CTO, SolarWinds, said: “Agency leaders must not only provide their IT pros with the right tools to maintain control and security of their infrastructure, but remain flexible in considering operational and organizational changes like IT shared services that can help institute agency-wide security protocols and more.”

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