CIOs vastly underestimate extent of shadow IT

Kenneth Corbin

On the one hand, CIOs can turn a blind eye to the problem and continue to provision cloud services as they have been, which, it seems clear enough, is not meeting the needs of end users.

Alternatively, he suggests that CIOs and other enterprise leaders rethink how their organizations approach IT on a fundamental level, and consider setting up new governance structures that would help bridge the gap between lines of business and the tech department.

"Rather than trying to stop it, I'm going to look at it and say this represents hybrid IT," he says.

"It starts with discovering and identifying what's being used," Dimicco says, "and then taking that data and applying it to an informed cloud strategy so the IT organization can be a broker."

Dimicco notes that some organizations -- including Cisco -- have established something like a cloud governance board to help rein in shadow IT and ensure that end users are getting the applications and services that they need to do their job. CIOs can help that effort by setting up a catalog of approved cloud services that users can select from to speed up the provisioning process.

"It's really clear, employees and lines of business have spoken -- they want choice, they want greater speed and agility," Dimicco says. "IT has lost control here, because organizations, lines of business are saying I can go to the Web and get an application or a service within minutes and start being productive."

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