Don’t let shadow IT put your event technology at risk

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Shadow IT can generate unnecessary costs within your marketing budget and potentially damage your brand’s reputation with security breaches. So what does this mean for marketers and event professionals, and their use of event technology?

Thanks to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and app technology, team members can easily employ cloud-based software programs that improve productivity, without official approval and potentially at the expense of enterprise security and compliance. Shadow IT refers to software and tech services that an organization’s IT department has no role in selecting, and likely may not even know are in use. These services are usually set up by individuals, departments or regional offices looking to improve productivity, workflow, or familiarity with an unsanctioned tool. However, circumnavigating the IT department’s authority can have significant security risks for your enterprise and your clients.

This isn’t to suggest that all cloud-based software and apps are unsafe, but many of these services are built largely for consumer use, and don’t meet enterprise security and compliance standards. According to a September 2017 cloud usage report by Netskope, employees within enterprises use an average of over 1,000 different cloud services and over 90% of these services are not offering enterprise-grade security compliance. Gartner confirmed this with their research showing that enterprises are using an average of 1,200 cloud-based services, 98% of which are shadow IT. Shockingly, an average of 67% of these cloud services don’t specify that customers own their data within their terms of service, which is not what any IT department wants to hear.

Here’s how your brand should utilize event technology without entering into the realm of shadow IT.

Avoid risking your marketing budget

Gartner has said that 2017 is the first year that the CMO will outspend the CIO. With marketing budgets increasing annually to support the range of solutions needed to improve customer experience, it’s important for marketers to educate themselves on the security measures their organization has in place to protect enterprise data.

Many marketing professionals will look to low-cost or free services due to the perceived financial benefit, but a lack of control over these services can actually create higher operational costs. Costs associated with software and tech extend beyond upfront licensing charges. IT departments must budget for potential breaches and related insurance costs, and shadow IT increases risk without properly preparing insurance. When venturing into shadow IT, marketers risk the potential duplication of services when different individuals are using software that ultimately provide the same service. This can further use up their hard-earned budgets without careful IT management. If disparate and untracked martech systems are utilized, marketing professionals risk missing out on key customer journey insights, like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle with half of the pieces missing.

Maintain your brand reputation

While the appeal of finding a fast and easy event app creation tool without adhering to IT and Infosec guidelines is understandable, the harmful effects extend beyond simply irritating your IT department. Cloud technology and unsecured apps can leave your customer’s data—and your brand’s reputation—open to damage. This is not only a security nightmare, but it can create lasting damage to your brand. For example, security company Equifax experienced a massive security breach in October, 2017 and has a long road ahead in repairing their brand image.

Use apps that scale to meet your enterprise needs

Ensuring your brand has a holistic event strategy requires partnering with an event technology vendor that not only provides more security but also the opportunity for growth. True enterprise event apps must have the scalability to handle everything from small meetings to the planet’s largest events with millions of attendees. By keeping your data secure in one premium event app, you’re ensuring your attendees’ privacy and personal data will be secure—and further validated by your IT department.

Eventbase makes it easy for your event team to create and publish content within your enterprise event platform that’s approved by IT and Infosec teams. Behind our award-winning interface is unmatched enterprise-grade security that protects your attendees and provides consolidated insights and management of your data. With security audits, data encrypted in transit and on device, and industry-leading vulnerability testing and load testing to protect your event, we’ll ensure your compliance with international data protection laws and regulations.