How businesses can use shadow IT to achieve digital transformation
Organisations that learn from shadow IT, rather than trying to suppress it, are more likely to succeed in today’s disruptive environment, according to cloud computing company Fronde.
Organisations that are not openly disruptive can experience covert disruption in the form of shadow IT, which is when IT systems and solutions are built and used inside an organisation without explicit organisational approval.
A recent Gartner report suggests shadow IT regularly surpasses 30 per cent of a company’s IT spend. The rise of shadow IT has been fuelled by a combination of the growth of BYOD and an increasing millennial workforce, creating demand for easy, on-the-go IT solutions that deliver immediate results.
James Valentine, CTO, Fronde, said, “Shadow IT is another form of digital transformation by stealth. If employees are implementing technology without the IT team’s involvement, or if the IT team is viewed as a roadblock to innovation, it risks being disintermediated by its own organisation.
“IT professionals can react in a variety of ways. From what we’ve seen, those that surrender to the business are trying to deal with the aftermath of new and unsanctioned business applications. This can include integration issues and security risks that create many hours of work to remediate.
“Those that deny the issue and hold the line with process and policy are being bypassed in important IT decisions. Some, however, have pushed through the necessary changes and have built an enviable digital platform, influenced by the shadow IT and underpinned by modern tools, processes, and capabilities.”
Teams that use the learnings of shadow IT to build a customised digital platform for their business can be more successful than their counterparts. This is because the shadow IT mindset encourages IT professionals to be more agile and responsive to the business and customer’s needs. Integrating the skills of staff across the business can also reduce the burden on the IT team. The extra assistance and innovative perspectives can help the business achieve faster turnaround times than if external contractors are involved, and enables faster go-to-market strategies.
James Valentine, said, “Organisations shouldn’t surrender to or ignore shadow IT; rather, they should leverage it to bring new solutions forward. IT teams should be the best-equipped in a business to help with technology transformation.
“By starting small and growing a modern, agile DevOps practice you can bring your team and the business along on a successful IT transformation journey. This mentality can help you find the best solutions and bring the best technology and platforms to your business to enhance daily operations and productivity.”
Fronde recommended businesses also mitigate risk by updating their acceptable usage policies, incorporating trends such as home working and BYOD. Businesses should encourage employees to adopt and get the most out of the business tools of choice in a secure and productive manner. This lets the organisation think innovatively and simultaneously manage security risks.
EDGEMATRIX and NTT DOCOMO deliver AI at the edge
Leading Japanese telecommunications firm NTT DOCOMO, together with startup EDGEMATRIX, is harnessing the power of 5G to support artificial intelligence-enabled video, real-time analytics and, ultimately, the next step in the evolution of the modern smart city.
Founded under the roof of Silicon Valley tech firm Cloudian, EDGEMATRIX has grown into a cutting edge startup based in Japan. NTT DOCOMO has been a shareholder in the company since 2019, having spent the past two years jointly developing and commercialising EDGEMATRIX's revolutionary edge-AI platform using high-speed, high-capacity, low-latency 5G technology. NTT DOCOMO, together with EDGEMATRIX, launched a world-first edge AI platform for intelligent video analytics, enabling high resolution, high security, and real-time video using AI.
Courtesy of EDGEMATRIX
The platform simplifies, manages and oversees the implementation and integration of AI at the edge, which captures, analyses and stores video close to where it is captured in industrial and retail settings, "on location at factories, buildings and other outdoor and indoor locations." The solution is also used in social infrastructure such as roads, railroads, and long-term care facilities for safety monitoring and anomaly detection.
Using Edge AI Box, a compact indoor and outdoor device equipped with a GPU for deep learning-based AI and a communication module (WiFi/LTE/5G) together with various interfaces such as camera connection, it becomes possible to process video streaming from surveillance cameras on-site (at the edge) and in real-time. EDGEMATRIX's Edge AI Boxes can be installed across a site and then monitored using the company's platform. The platform maps the locations of multiple Edge AI Box devices installed on site, monitors their operational status and enables the devices to be controlled remotely.
EDGEMATRIX's customers can use the platform to pruchase additional AI applications from a rapidly-expanding ecosystem which allow them to implement the right solution for the right situation. This simplifies the implementation and upgrade of edge AI for processing and storing video data captured with video cameras at customer premises either outdoor or indoor. Using "Edge View" feature, it is also possible to simultaneously display on the browser a large number of AI-processed real-time videos from the field.
Partnerships like this are key to NTT DOCOMO’s efforts to integrate 5G technologies into the modern enterprise.
Zaif Siddiqi, Executive Director and Global Head of NTT DOCOMO’s 5G & IoT Business Department, comments: “When you're approaching digital transformation, there's more to it than just leveraging cutting edge technologies into new customer experiences.” Unless the needs of the customer, and the underlying market forces at play, can be truly understood, “5G doesn’t mean anything,” he explains, adding that in order to find the right contexts for deployment, “Selection of the right partners is extremely important to delivering on the potential value of 5G.”