“Sadin on Digital” episodes explore the fast-changing and high-stakes world of digital business. Wayne Sadin and I focus in particular on what CEOs and boards must do to lead their companies successfully into the Digital Age. Today, we talk “shadow IT” and the why Wayne wants to rename it.
In this episode: Wayne begins by defining “Shadow IT,” which are essentially systems built within organizations and used without explicit approval. Long considered bad and dangerous, shadow IT also has its uses and benefits, and Wayne walks us through both sides of the coin over the course of our conversation.
Wayne and I talk about a book by Fred Brooks called “The Mythical Man Month,” one of the seminal works of managing IT. We touch on Brooks’ notion that building a system for “me” it takes X effort, but building that same system for other people takes 3X effort. (By the way, Fred Brooks was the architect of the IBM System 360 software package – the biggest software product ever delivered.)
Jumping back to shadow IT, we discuss how it can help solve long-standing IT challenges. For example: databases, which for modern companies are being hit millions of times per day – or even billions, for IoT companies. With so many records, Wayne says, IT folks would be forced to run “the query from hell” to pull out their desired information. Shadow IT could be a more easily manageable data source.
Wayne and I also spend some time on ERP, and the benefits that companies using cloud-based ERP are enjoying when it comes to data and “single sources of truth.” Because that is the true promise of shadow IT, or “collaborative IT” as Wayne calls it: aligning companies around a single source of truth.
You can also stream the audio-only version of this episode:
'One of the problems with shadow IT is that everybody assumes their data source is THE data source.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'If companies have multiple sources of the truth as seen by different functions and no business function that reconciles those truths, you create this chaos where people aren't sure what any basic numbers are.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'We in IT have a real cultural challenge now. And I'm sending this message to CEOs: have a heart-to-heart talk with your CIO.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet
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Cloud Wars Live Digital All-Stars
Wayne Sadin is one of our regular Digital All-Stars. The All-Stars are experts whose video podcasts will focus on the critical themes shaping (and re-shaping!) the business world here in the digital age of 2020. Our intention is to provide regular chunks of timely ideas and insights about high-priority subjects from industry veterans with diverse backgrounds.