Stealth IT spend to increase by 20 per cent this year

Shadow IT spend is more prevalent than ever, a new study shows.

Canopy, the Atos cloud, today finds that almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of CIOs believe that shadow IT spend is more prevalent than ever, costing an estimated €13 million (£9.6 million) as a proportion of their company’s global IT budget in 2014.

Half (51 per cent) of business decision makers echoed the figures, admitting that 5-15 per cent of their departmental budget was being spent on shadow IT, amounting to €8.6 million (£6.3 million). The figures are set to grow by over 20 per cent in 2015.

Business decision makers whose employees are spending on shadow IT indicated that back-up needs were the primary driver, with 44 per cent of respondents admitting their department had invested in this area in the last year.

File sharing software (36 per cent) and archiving data (33 per cent) were also among the main causes of shadow IT expenditure.

Front end-related IT functions, often seen to drive top line revenue through digital transformation initiatives, such as mobility and social tools (28 per cent), and analytics (27 per cent), were less popular drivers for 2014 spend.

Only 17 per cent said delivering features and functionality for better digital experiences faster than the competition was a reason for circumventing the IT department.

“Surprisingly, shadow IT is being spent on back-office functions – areas which for most businesses should be centralised and carefully managed by the IT department,” said Philippe Llorens, CEO of Canopy.

The biggest shadow IT spenders, according to CIOs, were US companies, outlaying a huge €26 million (£19.15 million) per company as a proportion of their 2014 global IT budget - more than double that of companies in the UK and France who admitted to spending €11 million (£8.1 million) and €10 million (£7.4 million) respectively.