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Sep 29, 2016 09:51 PM IST | Source:

Why CIOs should focus on Shallow IT

CIOs need to be willing to experiment and open to collaborative technologies. They need to convert these technologies into secure platforms.

Cyber security has been a major concern for a while now. The reason for this is not the number of files stored and transferred. Rather, the concern stems from the applications used for the same.

The unsanctioned use of file-sharing applications is risky. It is an open invitation to malware attacks. It could also lead to unauthorised access of confidential data online.

How can Chief Information Officers (CIOs) avoid this risk? CIOs can avoid using third-party apps and restrict employees from using them. CIOs need to be willing to experiment and open to collaborative technologies. They need to convert these technologies into secure platforms.

In other words, they need to focus on Shallow IT. What does that entail?

Allowing technologies meet business needs: CIOs play an important role in ensuring ethical usage of technology. The IT department can do justice to this only if the available technology meets evolving business needs. For example, the IP messenger and Dropbox are third-party apps. But they can be secure applications as well. How? Real-time tracking of data downloads of registered IPs is the answer to this. Continuous feedback from employees and CEOs is important. It can help CIOs combine technology and meet business needs.

Encourage use of upgraded software: CIOs need to revise IT policies and upgrade the systems in a timely manner. Compatibility and making procurement decisions can create value for work. It can increase the efficiency of machines.

Protect sensitive data: Employees accept End User License Agreements legally without even reading the terms and conditions. This could also mean giving third-party apps the permission to access your online accounts.

Create a customised : There is always a possibility of data leakage while using third-party cloud applications. CIOs can set up a customised cloud service for the respective company. This creates an easy way to track and ensure exchange of data between devices.

Enable better efficiency in co-working spaces: The ongoing trend of co-working spaces and entrepreneurship in India demands a shift from Shadow IT to Shallow IT. Cloud applications match the trend of work on the go and networking in a co-working space. ‘IT needs to feel comfortable with experimentation,’ said the CIO of Clorox Ralph Loura. Shallow IT emphasises the need to experiment with technologies that can deliver value and efficiency.  

Empower the company: IT companies focus on procuring hardware, says a Forbes report. The CIOs are highly dependent on data centers and third-party cloud providers. Storing huge amounts of data on public platforms could result in a cloud stack. So, the IT department needs to deal with technical issues and technology upgradation.

The IT department need not focus on solving the technical issues. Instead, it should guide CEOs in exploring better options for securing data on the cloud and on personal devices.

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