What is Shadow IT?

About Shadow IT…

One of our clients had an access database that met the criteria of shadow IT. It was developed outside of IT. The business was relying on an outside contractor to fix any issues or make improvements to the application. The application had been built up over time and had become hard to maintain by anyone else than the contractor that originally developed it. If the contractor was not available or could not be contacted, there was no-one else that understood the system.

Access is fine in a small office scenario of 2 - 3 users, but when it needs to be access by more users and in multiple locations, it can become a problem. The client was using two systems to mange the data, one for operational customers and another system for managing leads. Our client had an account manager that was out on the road frequently and was not able to easily access the data. For an account manager, the ideal situation is to be able to enter and update data while mobile. Management were keen to understand the state of the business, but had to wait for reports to be produced out of access each month.

The client had a number of goals to improve the application. It should be the single source of truth and remove the need to switch between systems to access the data. Data should be available to all users and management regardless of if they were in the office or out on the road, but it should also be secure, so it was only available to those that should have access to it. It should be easy to create and maintain reports, and those reports should be available at any time to management.

The client decided to move the application to Salesforce as it met these goals. The application was able to be built quickly in Salesforce and enabled the client to manage both sales and service in the one environment. The account manager was happy that he was able to use one system to access new and existing accounts and also to be able to see the data on a mobile device. Data was secure but accessible to those that needed to access it. Reports could be maintained easily by end users or entirely new ones created quickly. Management was able to access the reports and understand the position of the business on demand. Salesforce provided a complete solution and enabled the client to remove one more shadow IT application.

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