IDG Contributor Network: Is shadow IT something CIOs should worry about?

Pervasiveness of shadow IT

I talked to several CIOs in the #CIOChat recently about shadow IT.Their collective wisdom is shared in this post. The first thing that impressed me in this chat is that the CIOs know the numbers. CIOs shared what they had learned from Cisco, Gartner, and Brocade. Cisco found that shadow cloud use was greater than 15 times higher than estimated by CIOs. CIOs said that Gartner’s research found that more than 40 percent of IT spend is in fact shadow IT. And Brocade, which did a global survey of 200 CIOs, found that more than 80 percent had seen some form of unauthorized cloud/SaaS usage.

Does the presence of shadow IT make a statement?

I asked the CIOs whether the presence of shadow IT makes a statement about business/IT alignment. CIOs had a wide range of answers to this question. CIOs said that often the real problem is not shadow IT but why and how shadow IT emerged. CIOs suggest that in many cases, shadow IT is in fact a symptom of unmet needs. It can as well imply a perceived lack of speed for IT versus the needs of the business.

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