Get Shadow IT Under Control with Citizen Development


If you're an IT professional, it's the stuff of nightmares. Dozens of unmonitored applications running throughout an organization completely below the radar of your IT department. Apps pouring out of the cracks meant to improve department workflows or organize data overflow, but instead crashing and burning due to lack of maintenance and support. 

Dangers include:

- Increased security risks
- Lack of modernization or standardization, and
- Slow implementation
- Lack of internal support
- Software upgrades that damage other areas of the organization’s IT infrastructure

And that's just to name a few. But there's hope.

Citizen development is what happens when shadow IT meets governance. When harnessed with a clear strategy, guidelines, and support, what was once rogue IT activity gains structure and accountability, turning it into a controlled force for good.

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You can read more in our eGuide on governing citizen development, but here are the steps you need to take to transform your shadow IT problem into a proactive and productive citizen development movement:

Write a strategy that addresses the who, what, where, when, and how of a citizen development program

Who are your citizen developers? Where (in which departments) will there be citizen developers operating? How will apps be developed by citizen developers? How will citizen developers fit in to the broader IT space? These are some of the questions you'll have to address when outlining your strategy.

Create a centralized citizen development command center within the IT department

This unit is responsible for providing resources and structure to all citizen development activity. With the IT department accountable for monitoring, you establish a good overhead view of what's what and eliminate the rogue applications operating throughout your organization. 

Give citizen developers tools, resources, and training

One of the differences between shadow IT and citizen development is support. Give citizen developers a platform to work on that IT can monitor, and the training to gatekeep it as well as develop new skills.

Make citizen development secure

A secure platform will help with this, as will continuous monitoring and training in data security adherence.


Think of it like the first law of thermodynamics: energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred from one form to another. With strategy and governance, you not only eliminate the chaos of shadow IT, you transform it into something powerful.

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