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iTTi Gloss: Shadow IT

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

Shadow IT is a term often used to describe IT systems and IT solutions built and used inside organizations without explicit organizational approval.” Source: Wikipedia.


“Stratecast broadly defines “shadow IT” as SaaS applications used by employees for business, which have not been approved by the IT department or obtained according to IT policies. The non-approved applications may be adopted by individual employees, or by an entire workgroup or department.” Source: Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan. “The Hidden Truth Behind Shadow”. McAfee, November 2013.


... employees believe the productivity gains they realize by choosing their own SaaS applications offset any corporate risks – a perspective that is unlikely to be shared by corporate IT, security, and compliance officers, who have a broader purview and scope of responsibility.” Source: Lynda Stadtmueller. “Taking Shadow IT out of the Shadows”. Dec 03, 2013.


Employees have been doing an end run around corporate IT and using shadow IT systems -that is, systems built and used in companies without organizational approval- for decades. Look no further than the volumes of company and customer data stored in Excel files scattered from here to kingdom come.” Source: Julia King. The upside of shadow IT”. Computerworld, April 23 2012. 



Shadow IT -nothing new since enterprise IT appeared, some 75 years ago, as Julia King states- currently shines like a first magnitude star. 

If you have the budget, you may launch your application / service even if you don't have the right ideas or decision status, or you don't care, or even know, about issues such as integration, redundancy, resilience, compliance or security. 

On the other hand, if corporate IT doesn't provide the services you need, you are fully entitled to get them by yourself.

Potential win-win solution: adopt an enterprise IT governance and management framework, such as ISO 38500 and COBIT 5.



Related perspective(-s):


1.- iTTi Gloss: Corporate Governance of IT

2.- Origen y evolución del concepto "Gobierno Corporativo de TI"

3.- COBIT 5, a business framework?

4.- iTTi Gloss: Alignment

5.- iTTi Gloss: CIO  


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