Timing often makes the difference between success and failure. A company that wants to stay ahead of the curve has to be able to think on its feet and quickly adapt to market changes. But how quickly can IT keep up and translate a brilliant idea into a working solution?
Consider a marketing department under pressure to come up with a strategy to combat the churn of long-term customers that has been occurring due to an aggressive marketing campaign by a competitor.
One of the team members throws up an idea. “Why don’t we offer highly personalised offers to our longest and most dedicated customers? We can analyse their entire contact history to come up with offers that each customer will really value. After all, we know our customers better than our competitors do, right?”
When the IT team informs the marketing director that it will take up to 6 weeks to collate the data to perform the analysis requested, the initial excitement is dampened. The marketing team reaches the same collective conclusion – “By then, we may have no more customers to retain.”
In desperation, staff in the marketing department take matters into their own hands. They find a SaaS-based loyalty scheme service. It cannot provide the personal insights they were looking for on day one, but it is better than nothing. Over time, it will enable them to generate some of the personalised insights they were hoping their IT team could provide.
The marketing team was unaware that their actions created a new data silo within the company – only compounding IT’s challenge to gather quality data in the future.
For many enterprises, this is how the problem of “shadow IT” typically starts. The term sounds menacing, but the use of applications acquired outside of the remit of IT is usually initiated with good intentions.
Taking Control of Shadow IT
Shadow IT is a symptom of underlying problems within a company. Key among them is that IT departments aren’t meeting the higher velocity demands from Lines Of Business (LOBs). This not only becomes a barrier for innovation but the proliferation of shadow IT is becoming a major issue for several reasons:
It introduces data and process silos;
It raises security risks and the possibility of data losses and breaches;
Companies end up paying more in the long run;
It violates compliance requirements; and
IT becomes uncontrolled and unmanageable.
To mitigate the problem, an IT department has to outperform shadow IT and dramatically improve the speed, efficiency and flexibility of providing tech solutions. It starts with having a platform that can provide full visibility into all the applications and data that are used by different business units.
Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) was designed to provide the kind of agility and flexibility that are critical for modern businesses. By having the tools to operate with the capabilities of an enterprise data cloud, IT can easily create and manage all the services that LOBs require from a “single source of truth”. Silos begone!
For further details on the world’s first enterprise data cloud and how it can help eliminate shadow IT, click here.