The Phenomenon

Shadow IT has existed since PCs made their way into corporations. Shadow-IT systems are described as

"business process supporting IT systems, IT service processes and IT staff that are deployed autonomously within business departments and by IT users. Thereby, Shadow IT is involved neither technically nor strategically in the IT service management of the organization." (Zimmermann, Rentrop 2014)

Deficiencies in the alignment of business and IT, a poor control of resources as well as a high degree of business autonomy cause the emergence of Shadow IT. Typical occurences are Excel- and Access Files, integrated solutions such as Shop-Floor IT and the autonomous use of cloud services. The phenomenon of BYOD, the acquisition of hardware and informal support plays a minor role in the emergence of Shadow-IT.

As a research topic Shadow-IT is relatively new and also management in organisations concerning Shadow-IT is only at the beginning. At our institute, the kips, we started to systematically engage in the topic in 2010. Since then we have developed and evaluated a method for the management of Shadow-IT.

Within the scope of this research we gathered a broad empirical basis with over 500 practical examples of Shadow-IT. The figure above shows the ratios of the different occurrences of Shadow-IT.


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