When we've blogged before about "rogues," we've generally been referring to individual employees who bring favorite consumer technologies with them from home to the office. A more interesting phenomenon is when an entire department or division of a company goes "rogue" by eliminating IT from the loop when it deploys software-as-a-service applications.
A corporate recruiting director interviewed in a TechTarget article republished on ComputerWeekly.com says he was able to get a recruitment management module up-and-running much quicker on his own than he could have with direct involvement from IT. He will, however, turn to IT if he desires more advanced functionality from the app.
While the director's IT department took a benevolent view of the deployment, problems can obviously result if IT is completely unaware of instances of SaaS -- a not-uncommon situation, contends a VP of research firm Saugatuck Technology. (Indeed, some SaaS vendors foster this practice by making lack of IT involvement a selling point for their products.)
The downsides of such stealth deployments include a passel of security and integration issues, not to mention residual bad feelings between IT and business folks.
As with individual rogues, however, IT would do well to remember that frustration, not spite, is generally what motivates folks to circumvent IT. Perhaps some realistic plans to give users more control over their own destinies are in order.
On the other hand, while business folks should expect to be involved in software review and selection processes, IT should get the final word.
As an Oracle executive says in a recent CRM Buyer article republished on E-Commerce-Times:
"A lot of interfaces are now in the hands of business users. It is essential that there is a clear understanding of who really owns and administers the application."
The trend is broadening beyond SaaS, points out an InformationWeek columnist, noting that several major vendors including IBM and BEA are selling tools that allow business folks to create enterprise mashups.