Shadow-IT: a dilemma for internal communication

If we as a workplace do not stay up to date on our intranet and its technology and development, we risk situations where employees bring their own IT to work. Not like “I rather have an iPhone”, but in terms of tools and technology that interfere with how we do our work. Who doesn’t have a colleague who stores files in Dropbox, sends e-mails via Gmail or solves a few tasks in Messenger?

The dangers of this could be substantial. For starters, you’ll lose your company brand, and employees are unsatisfied with or uninformed about what their workplace does for them on the intranet or other portals as they’re working in other tools with their information. You’ll also risk that someone will feel left outside when some colleagues use tools not available for everyone. How can I show my enthusiasm for my project if I don’t have the right tools or even know in which tools it all happens?

The worst case scenario is that you as an organization have no control over your information, or who’s got access to it. Often, it’s in the hands of a company who owns all data that’s communicated in their tools and will use it for analytics and algorithms. We’ve met up with companies whose information about their employees are outside the control of the company. What would happen if someone with the same setup knew the other company was short of staff?

In order to handle this, you should have clear strategies for your own channels in place and be consistent about what kind of work should be performed in each channel and of course apply this to the management as well. If you as a manager use the correct channel (meaning the one you’re been handed) and use them without steering away from the intranet with e-mails and sms, the rest of the employees will follow your lead.

Think strategy: what is the purpose? It’s a great advantage to have as much as possible in one place. If you’re able to add more channels on your own platform, do it! Have you got the capacity on your intranet for blog, vlog, news and more? Use as many as you can and wish to maintain. That will increase the probability that your employees can be reached with good and important information. If what you want to use does not exist already, then figure out how you can get the existing tools to work and dare to ask for help! This is all a new landscape we’re working in, and it’s always changing rapidly.

Last, but not the least – be an ambassador for what you believe in, and as a result, your internal communication will be at its best.  

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