Some call it stealth technology and some call it rogue IT, but most federal employees don’t call it anything at all. Anyone equipped with an Internet connection and a smartphone, a tablet or a notebook is essentially operating an entire IT department. Between free cloud tools, social media and web mail, many employees are going around traditional IT procedures to send and store files, communicate and work.
This trend can be dangerous, but it’s not evil, as the infographic below suggests. Is the commoditization of IT is a threat to traditional IT jobs and data security? In all likelihood, the flux of devices, apps and services merely marks a change in the approach. Agencies can’t rely on legacy systems while their employees use tools like Dropbox to share and access files in the cloud. IT departments must offer practical substitutes that will keep employees happy and productive without risking security.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies add a layer of complexity to the “rogue” IT conversation, but they also offer IT a new opportunity to educate employees on safe technology and enforce new security procedures. After all, the device is the delivery method, while the apps and services are actually interacting with the data. The infographic below outlines some of the biggest issues facing IT right now, but take it with a grain of salt. Your employees probably aren’t ninjas, and it’s likely their intent is simply to be more productive. No one likes red tape and bureaucracy — especially when it comes to technology — so this shift is an opportunity for IT departments to be enablers of productivity and efficiency.