The best employees constantly innovate on the fly. When they encounter an obstacle, they figure out how to get around it.Employees who embrace and overcome obstacles in unique ways are often announced as Employee of the Month or with other accolades.
However, employees often create more problems when they work alone rather than working with their own IT department.An unauthorized IT solution, such as a Google Drive or personal mailbox, which cannot be managed enterprise-wide, could prove disastrous.
In this blog article, we explore the concerns of allowing employees to build an IT solution on their own, without seeking IT advice.
Before we dive in, I wanted to share a brief anecdote.
A couple of years ago, there was an employee who didn’t like Wi-Fi coverage on his workstation and he took the liberty of buying his Wi-Fi router and creating a wireless SSID to connect to.
For days, the network would go down, driving the IT department crazy. On the network, the team saw that something else was taking over the IP address assignment, but couldn’t identify what.
The IT director said it had to be something physical and scoured the server room to see if there was anything connected that it shouldn’t be.
As I passed the employee desk, there was a beautiful cobalt blue and black Linksys wireless router sitting on his desk behind his monitor.
This self-installing router was waging a tug-of-war battle over the server role to become the communications hub for the core network, eventually leading to intermittent internet access.
Now let’s explore some of the key issues with IT solutions built independently of your IT department.
Your first problem: data loss
One of the main problems is when an employee creates an account with their personal information (email, phone number, etc.) and loses access to that email.
Since that email is not managed at the company level, there is now a risk of losing the data saved on that account.
Alternatively, if an employee leaves the company, there is a huge risk of data loss if the organization is unable to recover it.
With the hybrid workforce growing more and more, it’s not uncommon to see employees resorting to measures on their own, as they may feel disconnected from the organization, working remotely.
As a consultant, we always recommend that you only create login credentials that can be managed in the company, regardless of position in the organization.
If an employee goes out of business or is hacked, for example, the company must be able to close access as soon as possible to mitigate the damage.
Your second problem: control
If you haven’t already asked yourself this question, now I want to ask you a question: who controls your data? Your IT department? or the “Solution Hero”, who operates alone within the company?
When it comes to private and sensitive data, the organization must have self-control. This is in line with the previous point and I advise my clients to ask themselves the following questions internally:
Your third problem: compliance and legal action
I have the opportunity to work with many organizations to maintain compliance and avoid regulations, fines and lawsuits.
When insurance and / or auditors (suppliers, government, compliance committees) ask you to respond:
As a consultant, I work with clients to ensure that all these questions are answered with a resounding yes.
Your organization must comply with all government regulations and be accountable for all independent actors within the organization; otherwise, the risk of sanctions and regulations rests with the company.
Your fourth problem: scalability
With fast growing cloud IT services and solutions like Microsoft Azure and Office 365, I recommend organizations set up their solutions for collaboration.
The amount of automation, intelligence, and workflows that can be put in place can help your organization scale efficiently.
For example, when all data is within the Microsoft ecosystem, the different data points can contribute to a workflow that automates it or feeds it into powerful business intelligence (BI).
There are so many rich opportunities popping up on a near-monthly basis and being able to tap into these new skills will help companies grow above the competition.
The goal of every company is to grow and, to do so, it is necessary to scale intelligently and effectively. Having systems that work regardless of what your IT department creates can lead to inefficient and insecure work.
One thing to keep in mind is typically when you find an employee who has come up with their own IT solution, it’s not their fault.
Often these employees are on the front lines and improvise a problem that is making them more efficient, but at the cost of working independently.
As a consultant, I recommend that you have a strong impetus on your business and employees, so you can spot the problem early and innovate as a team. The questions to ask internally are:
Dataprise is committed to providing the best possible IT consulting services. When my team or I work with clients and their employees, the one thing I make sure I’m clear about is that my role is designed to be their advisor.
Every company is different and we strive to help your team develop customized solutions that can be successfully integrated into your IT department.
Unauthorized IT solutions can cause data loss, governance and compliance issues, and inefficient scalability.
While most employees have good intentions in innovating IT solutions, it is important that these solutions are not self-contained, but managed at the enterprise level.
Dataprise is committed to providing the best possible IT consulting services. If you are interested in learning more about our professional services, click here for more information.
Ultimately, I like to say, “Treat data like your kids and your business; keep it off the streets!”