back to article Forget 'shadow IT' – it's 'self-starting IT' now

When VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger dropped in to Sydney a couple of weeks ago, he had a new phrase to share: “self-starting IT”. Gelsinger prefers that term to “shadow IT”, the term describing adoption of software-as-a-service and/or cloud by folks outside the IT department, often without the IT department's knowledge. Never mind …

  1. Mark 85

    Missed one... I would have voted for "you bought it, when it's hacked you deal with the Board".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      … and if it was a board member's expensive toy that got hacked? What's the bet it'll be IT's fault for not protecting it properly?

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        That is one of those situations for which man weaponized fire.

  2. RichardB

    SHadow IT

    It's right there, in the name.

    Perhaps we could rebrand it Self Harming IT?

  3. Oengus

    You broke it, you bought it IT

    You broke it, you bought it IT

    I think this should be...

    You bought it, Your problem.

    Don't come whining to me that it doesn't do what the sales person promised.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: You broke it, you bought it IT

      "You bought it, Your problem."

      Or the slight variation, you bought it; you fix it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You broke it, you bought it IT

        It would be great to be able to say that, but what happens is "if you can't fix it, what do we need you for? Let's get rid of these geekosaurs and get some shiny new and flexible TechieaaS - where's that business card the sales gut left?"

  4. P. Lee

    You bought it, you broke it

    'Tis slightly more subtle.

    With some joss sticks and whalesong becomes corporately acceptable (YBI)2

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    actually "Self Starting IT" is pretty positive.

    But as a man who heads a company that's a big enabler of this he would want it to be, wouldn't he?

    Anyone remember they put "plus" as a keyword in COBOL because they thought managers could not handle "+" ?

    How about "Better Than Excel*"l

    *Sales database tool of choice.

  6. jake Silver badge

    This isn't "self starting" ...

    ... this is going against corporate policy and procedure. In my world, such loose cannons are terminated without so much as a by-your-leave.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: This isn't "self starting" ...

      But it's often the high up people doing this - who are immune to the policies that us plebs have to adhere to.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: This isn't "self starting" ...

        If they are "high enough up" to not be fired for gross stupidity, their every silly-ass whim is corporate policy and procedure by definition.

    2. admiraljkb

      Re: This isn't "self starting" ...

      "... this is going against corporate policy and procedure. In my world, such loose cannons are terminated without so much as a by-your-leave."

      Agreed, but my experiences with these type of folks, is they are smooth talking, fast walking snake oil sales types that come in schmooze/dazzle the board with what they say they can do for their dept, and get approval to pull their whole dept off the grid from normal IT.

      Oddly enough they actually do have the talent necessary to do it (at first), some brilliant engineers who can handle it, and it works great for about a year, maybe TWO. Their brilliant/but short handed staff which had been working just fine? They've had attrition, and the replacements aren't as capable as their predecessors, OR their predecessors didn't document themselves well enough for a replacement to step in and have a snowball's chance in hell at success, and they leave. Starting in on year 3 or 4? Its falling apart or has collapsed completely, the department is in a lot of trouble, and begging corporate IT to help out, and bad mouthing IT to the board for not being team players... Effectively a Kobyashi Maru scenario for Corporate IT... (I've also seen where it went wrong from the get go, but the end result is the same, somehow the rogue's failure was still IT's fault)

      Moral of the story, hire/retain ONE smooth talking snake oil type in corporate IT to politically counter the rogue in whatever dept that is pitching a breakaway movement.

  7. Kevin Johnston

    How about...

    Unknown Provenence IT

    I too have been one of those poor saps working to discover why the (your expletive goes here) Director cannot get mail on his phone any more only to discover he is now trying to use the Yamhanuchoki27000+ he found when he last when to the Far East. This being the same Director that wrote the Corporate Standards defining the IT procurement process.

  8. Red Bren

    Missing Options

    Cheaper/Faster/Better than using our outsourced IT

    Plausible deniability when our data goes missing IT

    CEO has shares in IT

    1. 2110112316

      Re: Missing Options

      "Cheaper/Faster/Better than using our outsourced IT"

      When I was working in local government (outsourced to Crapita) this was often the go-to approach when we needed IT that actually functioned.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Missing Options

      I'll add - cheaper, better and faster than our internal IT.

  9. John Styles

    Special Snowflake IT

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RISK - Replete Inventory of Shit Kit

    Seen in my last employment where a customer bought a load of someone else's defunct crap during a datacentre closure. They referred to this pile of junk as the RISK lab without a hint of irony.

  11. Third Man

    Umbra IT

    So far only seen the edge of the full cloud shadow.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Umbra IT

      So that would be Penumbra IT?

  12. Chris King

    And when they really cheap out...

    Your little disaster area will serve as a lesson as to why we have standards in IT.

    (Even if we're a bigger disaster area, at least WE have a Standards-Based Disaster)

  13. DNTP

    "Nonprofit IT"

    If it's stupid but somehow currently working, then it's still stupid and we've been lucky enough that it hasn't turned into a huge disaster. Yet.

    1. Fungus Bob

      Re: "Nonprofit IT"

      How about NonprofIT...

  14. synicalx

    Extra suggestion

    Maybe "This is why we do whitelisting IT"?

  15. Domino

    Shared IT

    Might give pause for thought about who they are sharing with and also those "high enough up" to ignore policy wouldn't want to share, they want their own ;)

    1. admiraljkb

      Re: Shared IT

      "Might give pause for thought about who they are sharing with and also those "high enough up" to ignore policy wouldn't want to share, they want their own ;)"

      Yep, seen that, and as a result, NOT a fan for outsourcing anything other than janitorial services. After having gotten a contract QA engineer up to speed, they were re-assigned to a DIRECT competitor. I was LIVID, and objected to the higher ups. I don't know if it did any good, but the QA Engineer was reassigned back to us a quarter or two later. You really have no idea on contract stuff WHERE your trade secrets go ultimately, and there is no real way to protect yourself and still have the outsourced resource do their job.

  16. Carl Pearson

    You're F**ed

    You Obviously Understand Replacing Employees Facilitates Indentured Recruits Economically Distant

  17. Daz555

    Sadly with self starting gnome shadow IT or whatever we are going to call it.....when it goes wrong it is still ITs fault and ITs job to fix it. Perfect storm of crapola.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Policies and Compliance Not Needed, we'll just ask someone to secure & integrate our systems later."

    "My Employees Are Just Being Difficult and Expensive and these people were so nice."

    "My books are managed in Luxemburg, My staff are managed in London, My Customers are managed in the cloud, my systems are no longer managed as a cost saving measure. "

  19. Lotaresco

    More than cloud

    As well as SaaS and cloud services bought using some manager's corporate credit card there is the entire shadow IT cottage industry of hundreds of bored droids deciding that they are best placed to solve an IT problem using MS Office and VBA macros. Which means that when old Reg from accounts goes up to the great pencil box in the sky that his carefully constructed pile of 950 interlocking spreadsheets, Word documents and Access databases collapses because there's no one there to tweak his hard-coded filters, string substitution and incredibly slow database selection statements that mean that a sub-contractor can get paid this week.

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