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Is it bad to allow departments to deploy collaboration apps?

Is it a bad idea for IT to allow individual departments to deploy their own collaboration apps? Expert Michael Brandenburg explains why individual deployments could benefit an enterprise.

There are certainly reasons why an IT department would want to establish a standard for a set of collaboration...

tools. Doing so helps enterprises take advantage of economies of scale when negotiating with vendors and leads to the deployment of organization-wide collaboration applications that ease training and support requirements for IT. Having one set of apps also makes it easier for ad hoc or cross-functional teams to work together, with one tool serving as the common denominator.

However, one-size collaboration deployments may not fit all individual departments within an organization. Specific teams may have unique or more advanced requirements for the tools they need to work together. Furthermore, with the easy availability of software as a service options, an unmet need could develop into departments bypassing IT entirely, whipping out a credit card and deploying their own collaboration apps.

In cases such as this, IT is in the unfortunate position of meeting the needs of a diverse group of users, while preventing the creation of a shadow IT situation. Ultimately, IT must focus on engaging with the lines of business, understanding their needs and delivering the tools that best meet their requirements.

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This was last published in December 2014

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Bad idea. Collaboration apps should be researched, tested & deployed by IT, and managed by them, if there isn't one which works across an entire organization.
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