The Shadow IT knows...nothing, apparently

VP decides this company needs a shiny new app to provide information to his 100 sales reps around the country, reports an IT pilot fish on the scene.

"That way, they can have this information at their disposal at all times on their company-issued iPhones and iPads," says fish. "So the VP has the marketing manager purchase the service, set it up and email all the sales reps that they need to start using it.

"Soon afterward, calls start coming in to tech support about how to find this shiny new app, how to install it and how to use it."

But there are just a few problems. Topping the list: Nobody mentioned to IT that this was in the works. So when support calls start coming in, fish and his colleagues have no idea what the sales reps are talking about.

Next on the problem list: The reps can't get the new app to fit on their mobile devices. It seems the new app creates a local copy of 6GB of data. The sales reps are using 16GB iPhones and iPads -- as specified by the same VP who ordered up the new app -- which means each device only has about 12GB of usable space.

The ugly solution: Delete just about everything else on the devices. That's not well received by the sales reps.

There are also some sales reps with newly issued Windows tablets, which apparently no one considered when deciding on an iDevice-only app.

But most frustrating to fish is the fact that the company already has a mobile application for doing the same thing as the new app -- and it works on both Windows and Apple devices. Trouble is, the people in the marketing department who are supposed to be keeping the data updated haven't been doing that for the past two years, so info in the old application is useless.

"If the marketing person had spent two weeks updating our current solution rather than setting up the shiny new app, we probably wouldn't be in this mess," grumbles fish.

"And I'm betting that a year from now, nobody will be updating the information in the shiny new app. Then they'll look for a newer, shinier app to fix things.

"But hey, why run this by IT before rolling it out? It's just an app, right?"

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