Florian Schultz, the director of the ACADEMIC services area at SoftwareONE, was recently published in eCampus News regarding “Higher Ed’s ‘shadow IT’ Headache.” The article focuses on the proliferation of technology throughout the education industry, and also how to combat what is known as, shadow IT.
Shadow IT, the purchase of hardware or software across an organization or institution that is not supported by the central IT department, is an issue at every company, but is particularly rampant and challenging in the academic space. This is partly due to the fact that research departments and education leads have typically been structured in a silo – ie, the chemistry department is unlikely to cross-check IT needs with the philosophy department. However, with the advantages that cloud computing brings to a university setting, this needs to change.
Mr. Schultz discusses three key issues that shadow IT in education presents:
- Managing applications – various applications being deployed across campus environments makes it nearly impossible for the IT team (typically understaffed) to be able to manage updates and other software patches
- Securing data – department, research and student data may be at risk if the IT department is unaware of applications being procured and used
- Balancing the budget – unknown resources can lead to unknown IT bills that are a shock to the system when a security threat or audit occurs
Working with a third party tool to help combat shadow IT in the academic arena is a good first step. Shadow IT will likely never disappear entirely but providing the universities with the information as to why a central IT strategy helps everyone is also key to eliminating the roadblocks. To learn more about our SoftwareONE ACADEMIC services please visit SoftwareONE Academic.