White paper: Dealing with shadow IT – be nice
Shadow IT is the technology used by staff and executives who are provisioning their own applications to meet their own IT needs. Most CIOs underestimate the number of IT applications being accessed by business units and individuals within their organisations. Cisco estimates that CIOs underrate shadow applications by a factor of 15-22 times.
In recent years, heads of business units have become the major users of shadow IT. Line-of-business (LOB) sourced technologies are usually introduced to solve a specific business problem. Business units have an objective they must reach, and they source solutions on (usually) cloud-based platforms.
Formal IT is aware of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend and has generally reconciled the phenomenon. What is often not accommodated are cloud-based applications such as file sharing and backup sites, or collaboration tools used by individuals and teams to improve their productivity. User files are often stored off-site and are shared with individuals and teams with little appreciation of the security, privacy, and compliance issues.