No-code 101: Shadow IT

An IT department's worst nightmare – and no-code is the solution.

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In 15 words or less

The tech, software and apps used at an organisation without IT’s approval. 

In a few more words

Whisper the words shadow IT in the ears of someone working in an IT department and you’ll send shivers down their spine. That could be because you’re whispering in their ear and they don’t know you, but it’s also because shadow IT is trouble for them. It essentially refers to all the messy, unregulated and often unsecured tech solutions that employees use as workarounds for parts of their work. 

It could be someone using a personal storage account like Dropbox to store and share company files; a department using a free project management tool rather than the organisation’s approved software; or employees using something like WhatsApp to discuss work projects. All the apps, systems, devices used without the approval, knowledge or consent of IT. The stuff that arises because employees are looking for solutions to problems that the IT department can’t provide.

It’s a problem because it can pose security and compliance risks; the company may not have control over (or even knowledge of) the technology being used or the data being accessed, which could lead to data breaches or a myriad of other issues.

Why do you need to know? 

• It’s rife at pretty much every organisation. If you’re working in an organisation or larger business, chances are that shadow IT is pretty rampant. In fact, you might be involved in it yourself. 

• It helps make the case for no-code. The existence of shadow IT strengthens the argument for implementing no-code within an organisation. The fact that people are turning to these kinds of solutions proves that there are limitations to the tech around them; and that the IT department is unable to provide them with what they need. The argument you want to emphasise here is that no-code solutions are safer and more secure – and would be implemented in tandem with IT, not something happening in the shadows. 

• It helps guide you on the solution your business needs.
Being aware of what shadow IT is affecting your organisation or department will help inform you on what specific problems no-code platforms can help solve. For example, if everyone is using a different project management software, that’s a clear indication that a project management app is something you would benefit from. 

Don’t say: 

‘Wow, those guys in IT really don’t like the sun, do they? I’m going to call them shadow IT.’

Do say: 

‘Building a no-code project management app in tandem with IT will ease a whole lot of the shadow IT going on.’



About the Author
Duncan Griffiths Nakanishi

Duncan is lead editor at NoCode.Tech. He's a writer and editor with 8 years experience working in the media across business, culture, lifestyle and tech.


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