Shadow IT: Not Taking Over Yet

A new CompTIA study finds that business units aren't circumventing IT as much as feared and that IT pros still wield a lot of power.

Marcia Savage

June 30, 2015

2 Min Read
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For a number of years now, we've heard how the rise of cloud services has led to a surge of business units sidestepping IT to obtain SaaS and IaaS. But this trend of unauthorized cloud services, called shadow IT or rogue IT, actually isn't all that rampant, according to a new study.

CompTIA, an IT trade organization, surveyed 650 business and IT pros in the U.S. and found that while business units are more involved in technology decisions, IT still has considerable say. Seventy percent of survey participants said IT has a primary role in making technologies decisions.

"The complete side-stepping of IT has gone down," Seth Robinson, CompTIA senior director of technology analysis, said in a prepared statement. “It certainly appears that businesses have learned their lessons, based either on missteps that have made themselves or on information gathered from others.”

Keeping IT involved in technology projects avoids the security and integration risks associated with shadow IT, he added.

However, compared to the PC days, when IT had a high level of control in IT procurement, the decision-making is much more collaborative in the era of cloud and mobile computing, according to the report.

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"Rather than the IT function being the command center for technology decisions, the process now focuses more on business objectives, includes different areas of the organization, and often has a different final decision maker," CompTIA said in its study.

Business departments that are playing a larger role in decisions about new IT systems include finance, marketing, sales, and HR, the study found. The survey results also indicated that final technology decisions are being made more frequently by the CEO or business owner.

The study also found that business professionals primarily rely mostly on their own experience or research in the IT procurement process: 53% percent of business pros rated it as their top source. However, at the same time, nearly as many (51%) rated their internal IT teams as their top information source.

The full report is available for free, but requires registration.

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About the Author(s)

Marcia Savage

Executive Editor, Network Computing

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