Installing software. Photo Tero Vesalainen / Getty Images

Managing Shadow IT in unions

Shadow IT is the use of technology in an organisation without formal approval or oversight. It particularly refers to online, Software as a Service (SaaS) tools. That could mean reps using private Google accounts for union email, organisers setting up WhatsApp groups for member communication, or staff setting up new tools like Survey Monkey to gather information from members.

These unofficial solutions often get used due to their effectiveness and ease of setup, coupled with the sometimes slow modernisation of official IT tools provided by the union.

That convenience comes with significant risks though. These tools go under the radar of the union’s IT department’s protective measures or the data protection officer’s oversight. The problems caused by Shadow IT have grown significantly over the last few years, especially with the increase in remote work during the pandemic. This led to a significant increase in the number of online tools that can be quickly accessed by anyone with a credit card or just an email address.

The heart of the Shadow IT issue is a dilemma: how to keep the union safe while not stifling reps’ and staff’s ability to innovate?

Our guide examines how Shadow IT is affecting unions, the risks involved, and practical steps unions can take to limit the risks.

Download the report here