Eliminating Shadow IT with Cloud
Many of us in IT have had to face this common problem: the business comes to IT with a request, and, for numerous reasons, IT is unable to fill the request in a timely matter. It could be due to budget, other priorities, size of the project, anything. The end result is that the business then goes off and gets the work done with a third party (disclaimer: this is how Salesforce got its start). Some time goes by, and the “system” is sitting in a cloud, under someone’s desk, anywhere. Then, months or even years later, funding runs out, the vendor is unavailable, the server breaks, or whatever reason happens, the business/user goes back to IT and requests emergency assistance to get this system back up and running, because now it contains mission-critical data (we’ll discuss the obvious security issues with this scenario in another post). This is not an IT problem, nor a business problem. It is a company problem (technically, it is a compliance problem, but by definition those are at the corporate level).
This issue has vexed IT departments for years. So, how do we prevent this? By creating a new path of least resistance. By using Salesforce as a company-wide platform, training everyone (especially the business) on it, and giving them access to full sandboxes with good data, it becomes much easier and cheaper for users to play in the playground rather than go off-site to a third party.
As I told one business user who wanted to build an app in the playground but was afraid, I said, “Look, you have your Adm 201, so give it a shot. You can’t break anything. If you get stuck, there are 100 other people in the company who are not in IT who can help you. And if you really get stuck, we (IT) will help you along. Just follow the standards.” It took her a few weeks, but she got her app built, and we deployed it in the next release. And eventually, she became quite proficient using the platform. That is one more person who will never again go to an unauthorized third party.
Keys to success:
Adopt Salesforce as a company-wide platformTrain everyone who is interested in the technology. Start with Trailhead and work up to the certification coursesOffer up user sandboxes with good data so users have a place to experiment.Be SUPPORTIVE!Connect business users in different departmentsForm your own company Salesforce user group