Shadow IT continues to create siloed IT set-ups

Shadow IT continues to drive a wedge between IT departments and the wider business, a trend that is likely to create uncoordinated and siloed IT set-ups with duplicated services and uncontrolled costs across the organisation.

That's the view of Andy Wilton, Claranet's CIO, who said: "Large numbers of IT leaders have more work to do to align their IT departments with the needs of the wider business."

He commented on new research by Vanson Bourne that found 67% of businesses had been commissioning and sourcing IT products from outside the IT department for two years or more, and over half of those surveyed felt that shadow IT activity would increase in their organisation over the next two years.

The rise of shadow IT is attributed to a speedier procurement process and a belief that non-IT people better understand the needs of the business and are therefore more likely to source the most relevant products

"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," added Wilton.

"The risk is not that people outside the IT department are having a large role in procuring IT. Indeed, individual units within an organisation have a role to play because they bring specific knowledge of their requirements.

"But 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."
The research follows a study by Deloitte that found that CIOs are twice as likely to prioritise the delivery of IT services over increasing profits, growth, and driving innovation.

Wilton added: "CIOs' budgets have been put under pressure since the recession so it is not surprising that many have had to focus on the basics. The problem is that businesses do not stand still and the consumerisation of IT has put more power into the hands of users than ever before.

"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."

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