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Shadow IT – Hidden Apps Waste Real Dollars


Simply put, Shadow IT wastes gobs of money – money you might not even know you are squandering. According to Gartner, Shadow IT represents 30 to 40 percent of IT spending in large enterprises. Even more shocking, the Everest Group argues that spending on technology that is outside IT budgets and control is half or more of total spend on IT. Meanwhile, cloud and data center solution provider ServerCentral believes that in 10 years, 90 percent of all IT spending will come from outside the IT organization itself. Sounds like the Shadow IT budget-crushing problem is on its way to becoming far worse.

Cisco research finds the average large enterprise uses over 1,200 cloud services and 98 percent (1,176) of them are in essence Shadow IT. Many of these Shadow apps are a waste of money since there are already corporate standard apps that handle these functions, and in too many cases the Shadow tools are either malicious or present other security vulnerabilities.

Finally, a Logicalis CIO survey found that 90 percent of CIOs are simply bypassed by line-of-business managers in IT purchasing decisions some of the time, and 31 percent of CIOs are bypassed on a routine basis.

Top Execs Hate Shadow IT Wasted Spend

IT Finance largely worries about Shadow IT apps that are paid for, those that waste money. They should also worry about fast-growing unpaid solutions because those tend to become paid. However, their focus is typically on dollars being spent now.

There is an answer – Alpin technology from CoreView. “It is hugely interesting to have usage monitoring and spending on just one screen. They can get the spending for a specific SaaS tool from a certain date to a following date, as well as other dimensions such as department, teams or location,” said Julien Denaes, co-founder of Alpin and now vice president of CoreView which recently acquired Alpin. “Slicing and dicing cost and usage data has many uses in analyzing performance and projecting future spend. This is also crucial when there are mergers or acquisitions.”

Shadow IT Discovery Saves by Driving Users to Already Paid For Office 365

With Alpin, you can identify SaaS solutions that you might want to migrate away from to something else that is already provided as part of Office 365. Microsoft is really pushing on adoption of Microsoft Teams, pointing out to customers just how much functionality is built into this Office 365 workload. Customers of O365 need to understand who is on WebEx, who is on Zoom, and who are their Slack users in order to migrate them to Microsoft Teams. “This discovery is immensely useful for Office 365 shops. They can see that many workers are not using core Office 365 applications, but instead using Shadow IT apps that are not a corporate standard. This wastes money since Office 365 is already paid for, and creates a huge security problem and data leakage vulnerability,” said Denaes.

Using Alpin to discover users on those applications helps the customer redirect users to adopt the right tool – which is already paid for. “With Alpin, you can identify things you might want to migrate away from to something else such as Office 365 services. Microsoft is really pushing Microsoft Teams. Therefore, customers of CoreView need to understand who is on WebEx, who is on Zoom, and who are their Slack users in order to migrate them to Microsoft Teams. Having a way to discover those users on those applications is a way to help them migrate them – to redirect users to adopt the right tool – which is Microsoft,” said CoreView Denaes.

Five Shadow IT Questions to Ask

  1. Do you have a detailed and comprehensive list of applications your end users use? What categories do these apps comprise (e.g., collaboration, file storage, CRM, chat, or project management)?
  2. Which applications are used the most? Does this speak to an unmet need that should be addressed through adoption and standardization? In contrast, which SaaS tools are redundant, wasting money and causing inefficiencies?
  3. Which Shadow IT apps harbor the potential to hold confidential, regulated, sensitive, or proprietary data? Does your IT staff have visibility into how this data is created, transferred, and stored?
  4. Does your IT group currently have the ability to identify SaaS applications and create and implement effective SaaS usage policies?
  5. Do you have security controls to protect SaaS applications from data breaches?

CoreView Bought Alpin to Solve Shadow IT Problem

Last year, CoreView bought Alpin for its broad SaaS management and discovery ability. Alpin tracks more than 40,000 SaaS apps, using 13 discovery methods, giving IT a full picture of their SaaS environment. With Alpin discovery, you will:

  • Gain visibility – view all SaaS applications in one dashboard, along with all their users.
  • Work with the business – help business users choose the best solutions and use those apps to their full potential.
  • Spot trends – see app growth among teams, departments, geographies and across the company.

With the acquisition, CoreView now offers granular user-specific and application-specific controls that identify all SaaS applications in use, monitor activity, and offer additional features such as “Blacklisting” (blocking admin-selected SaaS applications from use), “Lockdown” (blacklisting every existing and/or new SaaS application in emergency situations), highlighting file and email data leakage, showing vendor security certifications, and more.

Learn more about the new SaaS Management powerhouse:

Explore the Alpin solution —Alpin Co-Founder’s Magical Mystery SaaS Management Tour

Dive into our white paper — 1+1=3: CoreView and Alpin are the New SaaS Management Platform (SMP) Powerhouse

Learn more about Shadow IT and SaaS management with an Alpin demo, or visit the CoreView/Alpin web page.

You can also get a free CoreView Office 365 Health Check that details license savings, state of application usage, and pinpoints security problems in your Office 365 environment.


See how CoreView can help you with this

Learn more about securing and optimizing your M365 and other SaaS applications.