Mass adoption of DevOps, significant shifts in cloud technology, and real use cases for AI are all trends with some common purpose. Organizations want to build new capabilities faster than ever before and for less money. The truth is, most organizations are struggling with the best way to manage a large portfolio of niche applications across their organization.
Overcoming this struggle is a multi-step process. Many organizations spent the last decade modernizing legacy applications under the "Digital Transformation" umbrella of initiatives. They spent lots of time, money, and energy digitalizing everything. But what about the many other applications that organizations built outside of central IT, on Excel or MS Access? The next most logical step in your digital transformation journey is to consolidate your shadow IT.
Understanding Shadow IT
Shadow IT refers to technology managed outside the standard processes and governance of the IT department. Like most enterprises, you've seen the spread of shadow IT as Business (business stakeholders) looks outward to address today's technology-driven opportunities. Shadow IT exists when Business creates or buys technical solutions to solve their problems with minimal or no involvement from enterprise IT (IT).
According to Cisco, "80% of end-users use software not cleared by IT, 83% of IT staff admit to using unsanctioned software or services, and only 8% of all enterprises actually know the scope of shadow IT within their organization."
In recent years, the rapid growth of shadow IT occurred for two main reasons. First, IT focuses on critical application modernization initiatives and increasingly complex IT governance programs. This results in less time to work on a never-ending backlog of Business requests. Second, Business can solve many of their problems using internal power users and SMEs, collaboration tools, spreadsheets, database software, and a wide variety of easy-to-purchase SaaS apps.
While shadow IT allows Business to solve some problems quickly, their insular nature creates operational challenges and inefficiency.
Shadow IT creates silos of poorly-managed corporate data that you can't integrate for value.
- Shadow IT undermines data quality through inadequate or non-existent editing.
- It also makes data vulnerable to theft through poor access controls and creates security risks.
- Shadow IT adds a hidden cost to organizations consisting mostly of non-IT roles in finance, marketing, and HR who spend a significant amount of time discussing and rechecking data validity and setting up and managing systems without experience.
- Organizations experience inconsistent business logic and approach, wasted investment, inefficiencies, barriers to enhancements, organizational dysfunction, and compliance issues because of shadow IT.
Using a Low-Code/No-Code Platform to Manage Your Portfolio of Niche Apps
So, what's the answer? To consolidate shadow IT in your organization, you should be looking to enterprise-grade, low-code/no-code platforms.
A low-code/no-code platform's benefit is that organizations can develop and deploy applications fast and with less knowledgeable resources. It can bring Business and IT together and enlist SMEs into the citizen development movement.
The same staff members (IT and non-IT) currently creating shadow apps to fulfill a business requirement can use a low-code/no-code platform to develop better, more efficient apps quickly. Due to the standards and processes embedded in the low-code/no-code platform, organizations can overcome the problems caused by shadow IT while maintaining its benefits.
An enterprise-grade low-code/no-code platform, like Sagitec’s Xelence, can empower the next digital revolution for your organization. With this solution, IT and Business wins. It’s about the technology, processes, governance, standards, and culture to support and evolve all your applications to continually evolve your business.
10 Benefits from Consolidating Your Shadow IT Using Xelence
- Develop apps faster than ever before
- Better meet business demand
- Reduce maintenance, support, and enhancement efforts
- Better secure your data, reduce or eliminate redundant data, and provide one "source of truth" for data
- Distribute IT workload by using citizen / non-IT developers
- Capitalize on processes and standards to improve training, success management, and backup/recovery
- Improve user experience
- Reuse business rules, entities, objects, and data to maximize efficiency
- Experience less resistance to change
Of course, like with any effort, you should think big, start small, and scale. After investing in an enterprise low-code/no-code platform, Sagitec's recommendation is to look for a simple application to develop. This may be something currently in Excel or Access or maybe a SaaS replacement. The idea is to pick something that you can complete in 2-3 weeks, which can provide immediate benefits to the Business.
Sagitec's low-code/no-code platform, Xelence, can get you started on your digital transformation. Are you ready to embrace it? Click below to know more about Xelence.