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Out of the 
shadows: 
Wake-up call for 
IT departments 
Intelligent Market Research
2 
Out of the shadows: 
A wake-up call for IT 
departments 
Shadow IT – the commissioning and sourcing of core IT products...
Top down or bottom up? 
Shadow IT is far more than employees 
downloading applications on their own 
devices for work purp...
4 
Risky business? 
The biggest risk of shadow IT is that 
IT departments are losing control of the 
products and services...
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Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Shadow IT - Wake up call for IT Departments

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Shadow IT - the commissioning and sourcing of core IT products and services by departments other than IT - has been used across organisations for some time, but it is only now that IT decision makers are beginning to fully appreciate the extent of it. It is a way of working that is increasingly becoming the norm for business departments, who are independently deploying solutions with increasing frequency, despite the risks that may be involved.
IT departments must now adapt if they want to retain some element of control over the way technology is utilised within their organisations. We surveyed 200 IT decision makers and 200 business decision makers in organisations with more than 1,000 employees, in both the UK and the US.

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Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Shadow IT - Wake up call for IT Departments

  1. 1. Out of the shadows: Wake-up call for IT departments Intelligent Market Research
  2. 2. 2 Out of the shadows: A wake-up call for IT departments Shadow IT – the commissioning and sourcing of core IT products and services by departments other than IT - has been used across organisations for some time, but it is only now that IT decision makers are beginning to fully appreciate the extent of it. It is a way of working that is increasingly becoming the norm for business departments, who are independently deploying solutions with increasing frequency, despite the risks that may be involved. IT departments must now adapt if they want to retain some element of control over the way technology is utilised within their organisations. We surveyed 200 IT decision makers (ITDMs) and 200 business decision makers (BDMs) in organisations with more than 1,000 employees, in both the UK and the US, to nd out more about shadow IT. Find out more: Read our latest blog ‘An alarm call from the shadows’ Or for a more in depth view take a look at our recent webcast. SHADOW IT IS HAPPENING CORE IT PRODUCTS/SERVICES ARE BEING COMMISIONED BY DEPARTMETS OTHER THAN THE IT DEPARTMENT Emerging from the shadows It is clear from our research that shadow IT is not in its infancy. More than three quarters of ITDMs admit that departments in their organisations are engaging in shadow IT; although they underestimate how long it has been occurring. The majority (58%) believe it has been happening for less than two years. Of the BDMs whose departments do commission and source IT products and services independently of the IT department, 67% say they have been doing it for more than two years. Half or more of both ITDMs and BDMs, however, believe that the prevalence of shadow IT is only going to increase in the coming years. All respondent types also had similar views on which products and services are being commissioned through shadow IT. Application software, IT security and application development all feature highly. Find out more: What is shadow IT and is this something new? Find out in our video interview with Nicole McNab, Project Manager at Vanson Bourne.
  3. 3. Top down or bottom up? Shadow IT is far more than employees downloading applications on their own devices for work purposes. It is the well-planned implementation of specic solutions and it is mainly being managed from the top down. 76% of BDMs whose departments are engaging in it say that heads of department or other senior members of sta are leading the way when it comes to shadow IT. ? ? The response from ITDMs is largely the same: 41% of those surveyed, who acknowledge that shadow IT is happening in their organisation, say that it is being driven by heads of department. With senior members of sta steering it, it is not going to be easy for ITDMs to question – or indeed tackle – the engagement with shadow IT. Furthermore, although IT and business departments do not wholly agree on which departments are sourcing and commissioning their own technology solutions both show a wide spread across all departments within organisations with those that are typically outward-facing such as client services and marketing featuring highly. Find out more: Download our ‘Shadow IT: The Headlines’ infographic for the headline stats. ITDMs WHERE SHADOW IT OCCURS BDMs WHOSE DEPTS ENGAGE IN SHADOW IT SAY THE DEMAND IS COMING FROM DEPT HEADS OR SENIOR MANAGERS 41% 76% JUST 9% OF THESE ITDMs 5% OF THESE BDMs SAY IT’S COMING FROM EMPLOYEES OR DEPT STAFF 3 What you want isn’t always what you need With the widespread adoption of cloud, it has become easier for individual departments to commission their own applications and services, bypassing the internal IT departments. Almost 60% of BDMs in departments that utilise shadow IT, say that they do it because it is quicker; while 41% believe they know their needs better than the IT department and so get what they really want if they source it themselves. Even 63% of BDMs in departments not currently exploiting it see it as a potentially quicker way of getting what they want. Mirroring this, ITDMs also believe that departments engage in shadow IT because they think it is quicker (74%) and because they think they know their own individual IT needs best (55%). But departmental heads do not always see the bigger picture that ITDMs do and sourcing technologies outside of the internal IT department could have a detrimental eect on the whole organisational digital estate. Find out more: Nicole McNab discusses 'Why and where is shadow IT happening?’ in our video interview.
  4. 4. 4 Risky business? The biggest risk of shadow IT is that IT departments are losing control of the products and services used across their organisations – they can no longer see everything that is being deployed and operated within their companies, so can no longer manage the associated risks as well as they used to be able to. Find out more: Find out more about the risks posed by shadow IT. As well as a potential duplication of capability between departments and a loss of economies of scale, shadow IT also represents a fundamental shift in power between IT departments and the rest of the organisation. It is a wake-up call to IT departments. They are not going to be able to prevent shadow IT occurring, but essentially they will always be responsible for technology within their organisation, whether they sanctioned it or not. They must therefore adapt to retain control of IT and move from being the provider of technology to become the overall guardian of it. Find out more: Watch our video interview with Nicole McNab, where she discusses whether IT departments should be worried about what shadow IT means for them Access the full in-depth market research results on shadow IT on our website here. Alternatively click on the links below: Shadow IT - IT decision makers Data Summary Shadow IT - Business decision makers Data Summary Shadow IT: The Headlines Infographic Shadow IT: Out of the Shadows Webcast An alarm call from the shadows Out latest blog post Intelligent Market Research

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