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Shadow IT set to grow over the next two years

According to a new piece of research, Chief Information Officers aren’t able to deliver the innovation their company needs when it comes to maintaining the effectiveness of the firm’s IT estate – which is why shadow IT is casting a considerably lengthier shadow these days.

A fresh survey carried out by Vanson Bourne questioned 200 business decisions makers and found that two-thirds of them had been sourcing IT products from outside the IT department for two years or longer.

And that level is set to grow, according to respondents, over half of whom said the usage of shadow IT will increase in the next two years – 57 per cent said because it is quicker than going through their IT department, and 41 per cent said it provided a better understanding of their needs than their IT colleagues (which really isn’t a good sign). 40 per cent also felt shadow IT was more likely to deliver the product they wanted.

Andy Wilton, Claranet’s CIO, says: “This research suggests that large numbers of IT leaders have more work to do to align their IT departments with the needs of the wider business. Many CIOs feel tied down to just keeping the lights on and while understandable, the knock-on effect of this approach is that more business leaders are taking it upon themselves to source their own IT.”

Concerning shadow IT usage, he noted: “The risk is that the result will be an uncoordinated and siloed IT setup with duplicated services and uncontrolled costs across the organisation. CIOs need to move beyond the gatekeeper function and embrace a new world, in which they are able to provide the tools and support that business unit heads need to make effective, coordinated IT decisions.”

Wilton further observed: “The good news is that IT budgets are, overall, on the increase. This will give space for IT leaders to find a new balance in their collaboration with their colleagues to innovate new solutions.”