Shadow IT can drive innovation, Claranet suggests

Shadow IT is a challenge for only a handful of European IT leaders, a new research suggests.

According to a new report by Claranet, a managed service provider, 13 per cent of IT leaders in Europe found shadow IT a challenge, while 48 per cent cited security, and 39 per cent complexity.

Claranet suggests that firms in the EU can reap the benefits of innovation through shadow IT only if leaders align themselves more closely with other business units.

The research surveyed 900 IT decision makers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux.

Andy Wilton, CIO of Claranet Group, believes this can change the perspective on shadow IT from being mainly a problem, to becoming an innovation driver:

“We know that shadow IT is occurring in organisations of all sizes, but the jury is still out as to whether or not it is an intrinsically bad thing. Indeed, the data suggests that shadow IT isn’t the evil that many in the industry would have us believe; just 13 per cent of IT leaders view it as a major challenge, leaving a sizeable contingent that are either untroubled by it or, within reason, see it as a positive driver of innovation within their organisations,” he said.

“It’s an incredibly divisive issue, but whatever your view, the occurrence of shadow IT is often indicative of a larger issue: a disconnect between the IT department and the wider organisation.”

If businesses can build better relationships and better understand what each part of a business needs, then shadow IT can become part of a solution, he concluded.