We have previously written a few articles on the new trend in corporate IT called Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD). This is a trend also referred to as the consumerization of IT where employees frustrated with the pace of technology adoption have opted to start bringing in their own devices (smartphones mostly) which tends to create headaches for IT managers tasked with maintaining compliance with corporate standards and the security of corporate data. However, a new trend among IT people frustrated with the pace of change in corporate shops is called Stealth IT. If you have ever worked at a large corporate IT shop (or for a large corporation for that matter), you are familiar with the problem that IT managers face. They are tasked with solving real-world problems, but obtaining resources through the corporate bureaucracy can be frustrating at best and so some managers are using their personal credit cards to grab resources in the cloud. Amazon Web Services is a corporate favorite because you can get a few hours of compute time for a few bucks and since the charge shows up on your credit card as “Amazon”, you can claim that you were just buying a few manuals!
The issue with this approach is two-fold. First, it puts corporate data outside the firewall where it is exposed to theft. Second, what happens if the employee responsible for a popular system leaves the company and no one has access to the system? It becomes clear why corporate IT departments need to have some way of maintaining control of this new trend while being able to get their employees the resources they need to solve problems.