The Enemy within the Border: Taking Rogue IT Down

Take one look at the Batman Rogues Gallery and you will be able to recognize the Mad Hatter, Bane, Clayface and the Joker. All real, visible rivals. Unfortunately for CIOs, the IT Rogues Gallery still remains in the shadows. Rogue IT is gradually making its presence felt in enterprises. Gopal Kishore spoke to Rohan Deshpande, CIO, Ogilvy & Mather, to find out how to combat it.

How serious is the threat of rogue IT?

Call it rogue IT or shadow IT or by any other name, but when users try to circumvent the IT department, it is definitely a matter of concern. Today, anybody with a credit card can get access to cloud services. We try to prevent this trend by making it mandatory for employees to get all IT reimbursement cleared by the IT department.

Is it fueling the cloud or is the opposite true?

It's not just rogue IT users, but SMEs and entrepreneurs who are fuelling the cloud. The growth of shadow IT has been facilitated by a range of feature-rich tools such as project management, online backup, and other valuable services that are available through the ubiquitous Web browser. These can be procured and integrated into current business practices without IT's involvement. However, we see that this is usually done by tech savvy users within the organization for their personal requirements.

Would it be easier to prevent rogue IT if IT adheres to user needs?

The role of IT is that we understand the business need and we understand technology. As long as the requested service fits into the company's IT policy, we don't reject it. We do deny certain requests, as there is a very thin line between official and personal. Some employees take advantage of this and charge the organization for some service which was used for personal benefits. IT refuses to oblige only because it has to safeguard the company's interest. So, keeping these considerations into account, we either reject or oblige to user requests.

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