Where did that application come from? Who brought that in here? We need to make sure it’s secure, HIPAA compliant, up to date on patches. And how many licenses of this do we have now? Are we using them all?  The headache begins…

Healthcare facilities experience this scenario on a frequent basis. Someone (who shall remain nameless, Doctor) attends a conference, hears about some cool application from a peer at another hospital system, and before you know it, a whole department under your jurisdiction is using some unsupported app.  Now, you’re on the hook to patch and manage it – after you ensure its secure and compliant.

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Shadow IT happens in every industry, and healthcare isn’t the only one with significant risks if data is compromised. Beyond ensuring compliance, that software that came in through some back door is now another asset you need to track, and that’s another area where costs can climb. What license terms did the software offer? Were any commitments made around usage, license transferability, or auditing?

Finding previously unidentified assets is a headache. But once discovered, a strong asset management solution sets you up to manage them throughout the remainder of their lifecycle. Now that you can see what you have inventoried, you can monitor the contracts and vendor relationships, but also ensure the security and optimization of the software.

Visibility yields more benefits than taking action on the newly discovered asset. When shadow IT introduces an additional supplier, it calls attention to any existing, previously authorized applications that support the same task. Why did this one department bring in a different product? What perceived value made it better than what we already have? Would other clinical departments also find this to be a better option? Now that you have visibility to this unforeseen deployment, you can take a strategic role and influence the path forward (and with vendor consolidation as a priority among healthcare CIOs, you may even score a win with your boss!).

Further on the topic of vendors, you now have to defend your organization on license audits from this newly discovered vendor. The penalties for true ups put a crimp on budget that was already marked for projects, adding opportunity cost to the pain of an unexpected expense. You want to be in control of what licenses are active, reclaim or re-assign those that are not, and be able to confidently respond when an audit request is received.

Ivanti’s IT Asset Management solutions give you the tools you need to have visibility, and strategically manage healthcare IT assets – even discover those you hadn’t authorized. So the next time care givers return from a conference with some trendy software app, you’ll be ready. Ready to discover, manage and optimize the assets they bring, ensure compliance, and protect against unexpected costs.