The Dangers of Rogue IT

Rogue IT refers to end-users habit of introducing tools to manage their workload, without the approval of IT administrators. It occurs when users believe that IT-proposed solutions are implemented slowly and are overly complicated to use. This concept is not entirely new to the tech community.

However, due to our increased reliance on mobile devices and the accessibility of new online collaboration and management software, Rogue IT has become so prevalent that the Microsoft community is abuzz with this concept.

A month ago, Bamboo attended Unity Connect where numerous sessions touched upon this issue, as well as its dangers and possible solutions.

Why is Rogue IT a problem?

When users “go rogue,” they expose their organization to numerous security threats and disperse valuable company assets and information to outside sources. This is extremely contradictory to our current efforts to pull all our data together into one secure platform.

After all, aren’t we using SharePoint in order to store and access our information safely?

Imagine that one day you discover that your organization has hundreds of accounts with an online content management service provider which you didn’t know. Or, that your end-users created private YouTube channels for distributing your video assets, instead of sharing them in your own SharePoint environment. This decentralization of data is frustrating and counterproductive at best.

But it can get much worse. What if you realized that all your data, which you thought was secure, had been hacked because an employee added an unauthorized Wi-Fi hotspot to “fix” your poor internet connection in the office?

Is this happening at my organization?

If your organization sanctioned SharePoint or Office 365 for your employees to use, but you –or your colleagues– regularly rely on one or more different tools to get work done, such as Google Drive, Slack, or Dropbox, then the answer is yes.

What’s the solution?

Listen to your end-user’s needs and make the rollout processes of the appropriate, IT-approved solutions quicker. Provide them with specific use case scenarios and SharePoint tutorials.

Based on the sessions at Unity Connect, we’ve concluded that Microsoft is very much aware of this widespread issue in the community and wants to provide us with a good solution. They propose that Office 365 Groups could put an end to Rogue IT, thanks to their flexible and customizable nature.

They might be correct: Allowing teams to pick and choose the necessary tools to complete projects is the key to resolving this issue. Additionally, IT admins would rejoice if end-users reverted to working in a controlled, secure environment. That’s what we call a win-win situation.

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