How to Identify if your Enterprise has a Shadow IT and a Whatsapp Problem?

The majority of executives and IT managers are normally unaware how many unauthorized shadow IT or shadow cloud apps and services their employees are using.

Teamwire, Feb 01 2017

Cloud apps and services are easy to use without oversight, they can be quickly adopted by employees or teams to solve business problems, and often no formal involvement of the enterprise’s IT department is required.


Since there is a huge demand for messaging for the internal business communication, if there is no enterprise messaging app available, employees are quick to use Whatsapp as an insecure and unprotected alternative (please read our blog posts on the disadvantages, damages and security of Whatsapp). Actually many businesses currently have a huge Whatsapp problem as part of the shadow IT, because they haven’t deployed an enterprise messaging app yet.


Why Is Whatsapp as Part of the Shadow IT a Big Problem for Enterprises? 


1. Whatsapp can lead to unexpected leakage of confidential corporate as well as customer data. These leakages are very hard to track down.


2. Whatsapp does not fulfill the data protection requirements of enterprises, and sensitive business, partner and customerdata will end with Facebook.


3. The enterprise data within Whatsapp is not protected properly and there are no back up systems in place that are required for audit reasons and to secure data.


4. There is no access management (e.g. for data loss prevention) in order to block unauthorized use of Whatsapp in case of a stolen or lost device.


5. Whatsapp does not support all important use cases for enterprises which leads to ineffective communication and collaboration.


6. Whatsapp is not integrated into the enterprise IT ecosystem which leads to workflow interruptions, unmanaged dependencies and overall lower productivity.


7. Whatsapp is not compliant and can lead to significant fines (e.g. lack of audit trail, license issues, chat data required for law suits, violation of regulations).


How Can Enterprises Identify if Whatsapp Is Part of Their Shadow IT?


1. Enterprises can use their mobile device management solution (e.g. MobileIron, Airwatch) to check on how many managed devices Whatsapp is installed and how big the Whatsapp problem is.


2. Businesses can check firewall, network and web proxy logs. This will show the Whatsapp usage in case employees use the corporate Wifi regularly for mobile devices.


3. Enterprises can simply ask employees if they use Whatsapp for the business communication. This can also give insights what use cases need to be covered with an enterprise messaging app.


What Should Enterprises Do if They Have a Whatsapp Problem?


1. Businesses should understand the use cases of employees for Whatsapp and why messaging is so important for them.


2. Enterprises should evaluate the data protection, security, compliance, productivity and business risks due to Whatsapp.


3. Enterprises should define rules for acceptable Whatsapp usage (e.g. for family and friends only), or completely blacklist Whatsapp with a mobile device management solution.


4. Businesses should deploy an enterprise messaging app to improve team communication, collaboration, security, data protection and compliance in the messaging era.


5. Businesses shouldquickly roll-out and use the enterprise messaging app for many of their employees for a few core use cases.


6. Businesses should connect the enterprise messaging app to their IT ecosystem in order to accelerate and automate workflows. This enables additional use cases and ensures maximum productivity.


Whatsapp as part of the shadow IT shows a clear demand of employees for an enterprise messaging app. Sometimes the shadow IT also includes other consumer messaging apps like Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc. which show the same need.


Please contact us


If you have questions on how to solve your Whatsapp problem with Teamwire, our secure Whatsapp alternative for enterprises, please contact us. 


Our blog post on how to select the best enterprise messaging app for your business might be of help to you as well.

Related Reads


Teamwire API 15 Release

Teamwire has launched a new version of its same-brand GDPR-compliant business messaging app. The API 15 release of Teamwire offers improved password security and dashboard customizations, as well as a completely new feature, attention messages.

Thought Leadership

Mobile Team Communication – The Essential Standard in Healthcare

Quickly informed, more time for the patient - With our business messaging app solution, we pursue the goal of building bridges in communication in the social and healthcare system. In this blog post, we describe how we approach and achieve this.

Thought Leadership

Hospital Futures Act: How our Business Messenger supports the digitalization of hospitals

The Hospital Future Act (KHZG) and the associated funding program are designed to pave the way for hospitals to digitalize their operations. Our Business Messenger is also eligible for funding under the KHZG.