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What is the impact of shadow IT on my organization?

One of the many advantages of Atlassian products is that it’s easy for your users to get up and running quickly with the software tools they need. This is great because it cuts down on barriers to getting work done. However, it means users at your company may be using products and instances that you’re not aware of.

These products and services are generally known as shadow IT because your IT department has no influence or control over them. In the context of Atlassian, you’re unable to centrally manage these products from your Atlassian organization. This means that you won’t find them under the Products tab at admin.atlassian.com with the rest of your organization’s products.

Shadow IT isn’t inherently bad. You may find that giving your users the opportunity to administer their own products works well for your company. Your teams may be most efficient when they can choose their own tools and set them up according to what works best for their team. However, there are also cases where you may want to track and even prevent these products from getting started. The rest of this page explains why that may be the case.

Shadow IT may impact the security of your data

You have no visibility or control over what users do with their own products. This is a problem because users may use them to save sensitive information, which you won’t be able to access. In addition, if one of your users adds an external user to the product, someone not associated with your organization could get access to your company’s content and sensitive data.

Shadow IT may impact your bills

Users and products that you’re not tracking may increase your costs when you don’t expect it. If more users than you realize have access to Atlassian products, you may have a higher payment than you anticipated for your Atlassian Access (soon to be Atlassian Guard Standard) bill. Your company may also start paying for more products than are needed when the same ones are set up to address similar needs.

Shadow IT may create more work

If you find out shadow IT products exist, you may spend more time than you anticipate chasing down the admins of those products. You may decide that you don’t want these products to exist or that you want to manage them yourself. If this happens, it will be more work to figure how how to handle them and consolidate those products.

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