How to Find Shadow IT

In the past few years, so much focus has been on the move to the cloud. Not anymore. 

2020 was the year of cybersecurity, compliance, personally identifiable information (PII) awareness, GDPR, and remote work. The cloud hype has changed.

Now people want to know how to maintain and manage the new SaaS-heavy environment they see in their organizations.

When you drill down into why that’s the case, you see two words mentioned time and time again: security and compliance. 

It isn’t surprising in today’s world, but as worries, concerns, and challenges are all laid out on the table, one thing is often missing. The elephant in the room–two words that when combined have become taboo in tech circles.

Shadow IT.


What Is Shadow IT?

Gartner has found that shadow IT can account for 30 to 40% of IT spend in large organizations. 

Such a large amount should be enough to scare any IT executive. But what exactly is shadow IT?

Shadow IT refers to software that is built, deployed, maintained, and managed without the involvement of an organization’s IT department.

The accessibility and prevalence of SaaS tools–they’re just a few clicks away–means that employees can bypass security controls.

In other words, all you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a credit card and an employee can get started more quickly and less expensively than going through official IT channels. 

This leads to a host of problems, from unsecured data to compliance headaches.


How Do You Find Shadow IT?

Telling staff not to sign up to SaaS apps “because they can’t” will likely get you nowhere. That’s especially the case if they see no other option to enable their work.

Plus, as we’ve written before, sometimes Shadow IT can make your employees more productive. That’s because:

  • Shadow IT solutions often fill a gap between what’s available to the employee and what they need.
  • Employees are generally happier and more productive when they’re able to use the tools they know and like. (Some companies even list it in their job postings as a benefit — further proving how critical the right tools are to attracting and retaining talent.)

What we’re getting at is that a shadow IT policy that allows employees to experiment with new tools while mitigating Shadow IT risks is a competitive advantage. It’s also achievable.

You can do this by bringing these apps out of the shadows using a SaaS audit. Then once you’ve found what these applications are you can either make them more secure or shutter them completely.

Regardless of the data source, our platform Augmentt Discover can extract critical SaaS usage data and provide you with actionable results using an advanced log frame analysis framework. This includes trended usage over time, by individuals or entire departments.

We’re able to do this by maintaining one of the largest known SaaS Application databases in the industry. It currently contains over 15,000 vendors and applications, including 50+ sub-categories and 20 different security, financial, and productivity and profiles.


What Happens Next?

If you want to find shadow IT in your organization, the next step for you is to sign up for a free trial here and see how it works.

To make the trial experience more meaningful, every trial account is pre-loaded with sample data. 

This data provides you the ability to experience the product’s features and functionality without the need to upload your own data until you are ready.

If you have any questions call us at 888-670-8444 or email us at [email protected].

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.
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