In my time at Alpin, I’ve had conversations with many CIOs, IT Directors, and System Administrators. How many of them? Hundreds, if not millions. Did I mention I work in sales?
During these talks, I’ve encountered many different opinions on what level of control is necessary for employees using cloud software (which is most of them, now).
Two Major Types of IT Culture
While there are a range of opinions, they usually lean toward one of two camps:
- SaaS Restriction: I want to block employees from using any application that I don’t approve.
- SaaS Freedom: I’m not “Big Brother,” so I want my employees to use whatever tools they need.
Both of these can be perfectly reasonable IT cultures, in moderation. The problems arise when you take these concepts to the extremes.
Issues With IT Culture “Extremes”
Both extremes have inherent issues worth addressing. These are the two prominent attitudes I work through during my conversations:
Restrictors find it difficult to acknowledge that employees will find ways around their “blocks” (firewalls, whitelists, SSO, etc).
The Freedom camp, when their data is spread among hundreds of applications, security vulnerabilities and data leakage can — and do — occur.
In either case, I have found myself referencing the classic movie Jurassic Park, “SaaS… uh… finds a way.”
No amount of restrictions or trust in employees fully protect a company. Just read some of our shadow IT horror stories.
How Alpin Helps IT Departments With Either Perspective
For those with the “Restriction” mindset, Alpin:
- Provides alerts when any new application is discovered, when a vendor incurs a data breach of their own, or when sensitive files are shared outside of their network.
- Enables blacklisting of apps.
- Leverages 13 different discovery methods to provide an in-depth examination of SaaS activity and enable enforcement of security policies.
For those in the “Freedom” camp, Alpin:
- Detects new cloud software and alerts you if any dangerous apps get access to sensitive data.
- Makes monitoring easy — Alpin requires little effort to use effectively.
- Protects employee privacy by using as many (or as few) discovery methods, as fits the company culture.
For either camp, tracking the adoption of new SaaS tools helps IT decide when it’s time to officially provision and start supporting the users. And if an employee starts using a tool despite an existing corporate account, Alpin can let you know.
If you’re looking to get more serious about SaaS management, we have over a dozen ways to discover which apps are present in your environment, along with the tools to evaluate their security and compliance. Contact us for a 15-minute demo: firstname.lastname@example.org.