Sidebar: Risks of EUC's as "Shadow IT"
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Company, better known as Freddie Mac, was fined over $100 million in 2003 in part for understating its earnings. This triggered a large-scale project to restate its financials, which involved automating financial reporting to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Part of the restatement project found that EUCs (such as spreadsheets and databases on individual laptops) were feeding into the General Ledger. While EUCs were not the cause of Freddie Mac's problems (they were a symptom of insufficient oversight) to have such poor IT governance in such a large company was a serious issue. It turns these EUCs were done in part to streamline the time it took to make changes to their business processes (a common complaint of IT departments in large corporations is that it takes too long to get things done). As such, these EUCs served as a form of "shadow IT" that had not been through a normal rigorous testing process.