API Management

Shadow IT: May the 4th be with you!

For this year’s May the 4th, we take a look at Star Wars under the lens of Shadow IT. Star Wars taught us that the Force has a light side and a dark side. Luke Skywalker struggles to resist the dark side and fully embrace the positive power of the Force. On the other hand, Anakin Skywalker gives himself over to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader.

In the IT world, we struggle like Luke to follow the noble path of transparency, accountability, security and collaboration. Associates are creative, smart and motivated to get things done. And tools are continuing to evolve to enable us to accomplish more than we ever thought possible. The last thing a company needs is to squash our enthusiasm.

Shadow IT

But with the advent of powerful systems and platforms that boost our productivity, such as cloud-based SaaS, even well-meaning employees can be drawn into the nefarious dark side: Shadow IT (cue the ominous, orchestral–da da DAH).

As we enable citizen integrators and non-technical business users to have easy, hassle-free access to various internal systems, there is a real danger that corporate data security policies regarding PII (personally identifiable information) and system access could be violated. The dilemma is profound. We want to break down the barriers to accessing data. We want to eliminate the bottleneck that is often created by overbearing and controlling IT policies. We want to foster people’s desire to be more productive and innovative. But without some method of security policy enforcement, the ubiquitous octopus of Shadow IT can grow to become a monster that can cripple a company overnight. We’ve all seen the news stories of costly data breaches:

Equifax: $143 million

Marriot: $500 million

Yahoo: $3 billion

So, what is the answer? Well, there is a new paradigm that is cool, modern, trendy, dare I say–HIP.  The hybrid integration platform AMPLIFY™ enables innovation and integration at all levels of an organization, removing that IT bottleneck, while at the same time assuring that data security policy remain intact. HIP and its important component–iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service), if done right, can bring those creative and motivated associates out of the shadows. And Axway AMPLIFY does HIP right.

READ MORE: Read all about the five benefits of iPaaS.

Luke’s grandmother, Shmi Skywalker, said: “You can’t stop the change, any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” HIP is that change. And it is here to stay.

AMPLIFY’S easy-to-use, secure platform for integration and innovation can help the Lukes among us continue to embrace the light. And who knows, maybe we can show Darth the folly of remaining in the shadows.

Learn more about HIP in the hybrid integration platform resource library.