What is Shadow IT?

I came across a term Shadow IT and find it “amusing” and yet relatable. Shadow IT are Information Technology (IT) systems setup by non-central IT teams with the objective of bypass or overcome the cons of central system. Looking back, I had been on both ends of Shadow IT, a creator and eliminator.

Making Sense of Shadow IT

What gives rise to Shadow IT? Waterfall evaluation, procurement and budget approval often takes longer time to review as usual. From business view, this contradicts agile and speed of adapting to change. With agility, Shadow IT provides a window of innovation and prototypes to the incumbent central IT.

Cooperate, Assimilate or Eliminate

Like rebels, the objective of Shadow IT serves an alternate voice to centralised IT. If the Shadow IT remains niche, it may usually end up being a cooperative system and even can integrate to the central system. Of course, there will also be a scenario which Shadow IT become the innovated solution and this could be easily assimilated into the incumbent IT with better budgets and resources. In worst case, Shadow IT may face elimination organically from pressure like compliance and security or inorganically from obsolete technology or support.

Future of Shadow IT

Cloud technologies have actually encouraged Shadow IT and central IT must recognise the value of Cloud towards Shadow IT. Sandbox can be created to allow business to create Shadow IT in a controlled space. There will come a time where Shadow IT coexist and central IT must learn to manage and leverage the advantages from There are some interesting read that you may want to check it out for this topic e.g. Shadow IT A Complete Guide – 2021 Edition.

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