Part 2: What is Shadow IT?
Now that I’ve defined what is meant by the term Cloud Computing in Part 1, I will define the second part of this question, Shadow IT. I will then take a brief look at its current and predicted growth.
So what is Shadow IT? The term Shadow IT is defined by Gartner as “IT devices, software, and services that are outside the ownership or control of IT organizations”. (1) This means that users, and even whole departments, are sourcing their own IT systems and applications without involving the IT department. For example, users creating their own Access database applications or Excel spreadsheet applications. Since these applications are unknown by the IT department it means that they are also unsupported which can lead to bigger issues should a corruption occur. This can also lead to serious security concerns; what information is contained in these applications? Who has access to them? Where is the information stored?
It is very understandable that CIOs would be concerned about this as all of the traditional governance and control imposed by IT departments, by definition, can’t be applied to Shadow IT. A 2015 global survey of over 400 CIOs showed that 90% of CIOs found themselves sometimes bypassed by line of business and almost a third, 31%, indicated that this is a routine occurrence. The chart below shows that CIOs are influencing less IT decisions in 2015 than they did in 2014.(2)
This downward trend is expected to continue: in mid-2015 the Shadow IT spend was estimated to be 28% of all enterprise IT spend, with that due to increase by 5% over the next five years.(3)
In my next post I will be examining the explosive growth of Shadow IT application usage in the cloud.
The Impact of Cloud Computing on Shadow IT