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10 Insights into the Impact of Shadow IT


10 Insights into the Impact of Shadow IT


IT departments have a unique challenge to face rogue, shadow IT groups that sprout all over organizations, usually unannounced, yet self-sufficient, and well funded.  

How should IT meet this phenomena? Is shadow IT a rebellious threat that needs to be stamped out, or a beacon illuminating issues that IT needs to put more focus on and ultimately facilitate greater independence for

the business. 

Here are 10 points of view from experts at Gartner, IDC, InformationWeek and more sharing their outlook for how IT should face shadow IT and what it will mean for the enterprise.

1. Captive IT has never had a monopoly on the application of technology in their business.

Shadow IT fills the gap created by unstable demand and stable or declining IT productive capacity. Greater control will not close that gap. Greater capacity, productivity and throughput from within IT is the only sustainable solution.

By Mark P. McDonald, GVP & Gartner Fellow, Gartner 
Lightening the Depths of shadow IT 

2. Blurring the line between operation technology and information technology.

The ease of procuring cloud services means that lines of businesses are able to access technologies without having to go through the IT organization.

By Meredith Whalen, Senior Vice President, IDC 
The Implications of Shadow IT on the Business and the IT Organization 

3. Having your apps and your security too.

Just as the consumer world has App Stores, mobile device management vendors will need to offer application delivery methods or "stores" that can meet enterprise management and security requirements. These standards still pave the way of IT accommodating the needs of enterprise users, and delivering enterprise-class apps to mobile devices as well support for more heterogeneous devices. 

By Sasha Gilenson, CEO, Evolven
Where's An App Store For The Enterprise? 

4. Rogue IT groups outside the main IT organization pose both pros and cons-.

Shadow IT groups serve a useful purpose, cutting short the time between making a request of IT and getting the answer (especially for a data extract or a few reports). But they also undercut good governance, reducing operational efficiencies, creating avoidable expenses and increasing exposure to risk. 

By Rajan Chandras, InformationWeek
The Shadow IT Threat 

5. Change the dynamics of how IT gets things done.

If IT embraces cloud computing, and puts it on the menu of services, puts it on the service catalog, then it's not going to be rogue or shadow. It will have the full support of IT.

By Joe McKendrick, Contributor to Forbes 
'Shadow IT' Illuminates New Cloud Computing Opportunities: Survey 

6. Some of the savviest CIOs are embracing and even encouraging so-called rogue IT.

Tech-savvy employees have long bypassed IT to get their hands on hot technologies. Rather than standing in the way, smart CIOs are now embracing and even encouraging shadow IT

By Julia King, ComputerWorld 
The upside of shadow IT

7. The move to shadow IT is a good thing for IT.

Shadow IT (as it is often implemented today) is a reaction to a problem with a solution that is not ideal. The solution is a non-IT group trying to provide IT services. Unfortunately, this is often not their core competency and furthermore distracts from their core mission.

By Tim Crawford 
Shadow IT is a Good Thing for IT Organizations 

8. Working in the shadows: A mandate for change or juvenile rebellion?

Operating in the "shadows" isn't necessarily bad. Often, the shadowy figures are the ones who make the real difference in an organization. 

By Ken Hess, ZDNet
Shadow IT: You, me and BYOD 

9. The costs to keep complexity running crowd out investment dollars.

Shadow IT runs parallel to sanctioned IT. CIOs fail to set or enforce standards. And all along, consolidation and integration projects that cost money lose the struggle for funding to customer-facing projects that promise to make money.

By Kim S. Nash, CIO.com 
CIOs In Search of IT Simplicity 

10. Is IT capable of delivering?

For the CIO, shadow IT can turn into quite a headache, but it can also mean cost and complications for the whole organisation. For the CIO it means someone in the organisation is spending money on IT, and it's not them, which is never a good sign, especially if it implies the business unit doesn't see the IT department as capable of delivering the IT they need to time or budget. 

By Steve Ranger, UK editor of TechRepublic
Shadow IT Cheat Sheet

Your Turn
How are you dealing with the phenomena of shadow IT?

About the Author
Martin Perlin