Embrace shadow IT as an opportunity to be a strategic partner

Embrace shadow IT as an opportunity to be a strategic partner

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May 14, 2015

Lee Congdon, CIO of Red Hat, explains how shadow IT can be seen as an opportunity for CIOs.

Watch the video or read the transcript below.

"A CIO should consider shadow IT or stealth projects as a terrific opportunity. You've got a business partner or potential business partner that is trying to solve a problem with technology. And you should be good at that. So rather than think of them as a problem, or something you have to deal with or stamp out, depending upon your corporate culture, look at it as an opportunity to partner with that business.

Help them with the things you're probably much better at than they are like information security, contracting with technology vendors, handling problem and incident management that are always likely to occur with projects. And use it as an opportunity to take some resources, embrace the business and help them be successful. You become more strategic.

I would say we do similar sorts of things within Red Hat IT. We identify areas where we think collaboration tools, telephony, two-factor authentication and other solutions where we need to make an investment, moving our enterprise service bus to the cloud for example.

And we carve out resources to do that work. We actually don't stumble on too many projects amongst our business partners because our strategy is to have our people embedded with our business partners and know about them pretty early, and in fact be the consultant so when the business partner says, 'Maybe we should try X,' we're there to have the conversation about whether that makes sense or not.

Don't think about them as stealth or rogue IT. Those are pilots or opportunities."

Lee Congdon is responsible for Red Hat’s global information systems, including the technology strategy, enterprise architecture, information technology governance, solutions delivery, and systems operations supporting the company. His role includes enabling Red Hat’s business through services, such as knowledge management, technology innovation, technology-enabled collaboration, and process improvement. Congdon has more than 25 years of experience as an IT leader. Prior to joining Red Hat® he was managing vice president, Information Technology, at Capital One where he developed and delivered IT solutions for the firm’s corporate functions and Global Financial Services group.

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