Rogue IT projects push horror scope

End users initiate an increasing array of rogue IT projects that only involve the IT department when it is time to clean up the mess.

Due to the long list of problems usually associated with rogue applications – they're the ones that employees might install on their own PCs - Australian IT managers struggle to enforce a policy that states "if it doesn't come from the IT department, then it doesn't get installed".

National Jet Systems' group IT manager, Steve Tucker, said rogue IT projects aren't an issue today but they certainly were in the past.

"Over time users realise that the solution they've built for themselves is a short-term fix, but it shows its warts [eventually] including lack of integration with other data centres or reports," he said.

Tucker said the risks of rogue IT projects for the enterprise IT infrastructure can vary, with some developments choking WAN links.

"Some [developments] are not scalable enough and stop working after a given time or when perhaps databases reach a certain size, and thereby present data storage requirements. Some need back up contingency or may flood the network with unnecessary traffic," he said.

Tucker said he's aware of cases where small IT projects initiated by an end user department without the involvement of the IT department have grown into a much bigger system with enterprise implications. "In fact this is the norm, especially with database development.

"Such database development is usually a success from the users' perspective as it gives them a solution they need. However, from the IT view, they are not a success as they choke the LAN with traffic and require constant maintenance if they've not been designed properly," Tucker said.

Engineering and services provider, Thiess' systems administrator, Richard Moran, said he is aware of numerous rogue IT projects, but added that while "rogue IT projects are frowned upon, end users should be encouraged to identify problems and be innovative".

However, Moran said this should include communicating ideas to the IT department.

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