If you’ve ever sent a work file via Dropbox because it was too large to share over email, you’ve likely participated in shadow IT. Likewise, if you’ve chatted with a colleague about work on WhatsApp or FaceTime, that’s shadow IT. What about sending a work email from your personal account? Also shadow IT.

All that’s to say, shadow IT — or the use of technology not explicitly sanctioned by your IT department — is incredibly common. According to computer security company McAfee, 80% of workers admit to using SaaS applications at work, many of them without IT approval.

Shadow IT on the rise

In today’s increasingly remote and hybrid work environments, shadow IT is even more prevalent. With so many of us working from home — and no onsite IT person to pester — employees are downloading unsanctioned apps left and right.

But that doesn’t mean shadow IT is inherently bad. In fact, most employees resort to shadow IT to find more efficient workflows. And IT professionals get it. A whopping 97% of IT professionals say employees are more productive when allowed to use preferred technologies.

Seventy-seven percent of IT professionals even believe their organizations could earn an edge by embracing shadow IT solutions. For example, sales professionals who were accustomed to in-person meetings have had to pivot quickly to find new ways of communicating with their customers. For many, that means leveraging video to create a more personalized experience, giving them an edge over competitors who use less engaging communication methods. But using unapproved video technology, as well as storing work videos on personal devices, puts your organization at risk.

The risks of shadow IT

Employee use of unsanctioned video technology can have several negative consequences:

  • Security: If your IT department doesn’t know about it, they can’t protect it. Considering 85% of data breaches are caused by human error, the more visibility IT has over technologies used across the company, the better.
  • Compliance: Even if your data never becomes compromised, certain technologies can threaten your compliance with various regulations, standards, and laws.
  • Costs: Security and compliance issues can in turn lead to fines, lawsuits, and reputational damage. Data breaches can also result in millions of dollars lost to disrupted business, data recovery, penalties, and ransom. According to IBM, data breaches in 2021 had the highest average cost in 17 years at USD 4.24 million.
  • Inefficiency: Issues with unauthorized technologies need to be resolved by your IT team, taking up their valuable time and putting the affected employee out of commission until the issue is resolved. Additionally, if everyone in your company is using different apps, you’ll quickly run into issues with collaboration and interoperability.

How to address video tech shadow IT

So what can organizations do about shadow IT? The short answer: Give the people what they want. With so many dispersed employees relying on video technology to communicate, collaborate, and engage, it’s a good idea to provide IT-sanctioned access to said technology. By empowering workers to securely create, broadcast, and distribute video content, they won’t have to resort to risky workarounds.

Socialive’s enterprise video creation platform has several benefits specifically designed for business environments:

  • Security and compliance: Socialive can be deployed swiftly and securely across the entire organization with a single-sign on (SSO) authentication method. We only capture strictly necessary PII, encrypt all video content, and have secured our SOC2 certification. These considerations ensure our platform meets or exceeds enterprise security and compliance requirements.
  • Control: With Socialive, anyone in the organization can record a video or join a broadcast from their smartphone, tablet, or computer. But files are automatically transferred to a secure centralized library, meaning no manual transfer or local storage is required.
  • Unified platform: Our platform enables organizations to manage the entire video creation process, from planning a run of show to capturing content to broadcasting it across all your channels, all in one place. The smaller the tech stack, the less risk IT departments have to contend with.
  • Consistency and efficiency: A uniform approach to video creation across the organization ensures process consistency. Plus, our dynamic layouts, branded title cards and CTAs, and custom graphics help maintain brand guidelines.
  • Cost effective: The Socialive platform is self-serve, requiring no additional hardware or complex software solutions. Employees can use the devices they already have on hand to start creating video in minutes.

If you don’t provide access to popular technology like video creation platforms, employees will seek out unsanctioned options, putting your organization at risk. In an increasingly dispersed digital world, a self-serve platform like Socialive can ensure employees have the tools they need while maintaining security, compliance, and consistency across the business.