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I recently finished creating the initial version of a process
for developing “applications” by people outside of the IT area. Almost
all companies have such development, where an end user develops
something that is used in the business, without the assistance of the
Information Technology area. This type of development can be called
“shadow IT”, “business as usual”, “end user computing”, dev on the
down-low”, but it does have its place. For example, there are times
when a complicated spreadsheet, with some minor VBA programming is
needed to calculate something that is going to be needed only for that
year’s close out. Having the IT department create an application using
the corporate standard process would add time, expense, and inefficiency
to something that is needed for a very brief moment in the company’s
life. However, these tiny little apps sometimes pose tremendous risk to
an organization if they are used to make business decisions and/or have
operational risk, reputational risk, or audit risk (to name a few) and
need controls to be in place to manage the risk.
What we found was that a minimal process that was very agile in its
approach that required the bare minimum amount of documentation added
very little impact, but now provides a comfort level to executive
management, internal audit, and external audit as well as putting some
structure around the risk management and mitigation.
This process is in the initial adoption phase and will be refactored
based on the results and lessons learned before it takes on program
level coverage. In future updates, I will blog the good, the bad, and
maybe even the ugly on how it continues to evolve in practice. Based on
initial results, I think that many organizations could benefit from the
approach we used…
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