Shadow IT

Shadow IT

Shadow IT is a term often used to describe IT systems and IT solutions built and used inside organizations without organizational approval.

"Shadow IT" is by many considered an important source for innovation and such systems may turn out to be "prototypes" for future approved IT solutions. On the other side, shadow IT solutions are not often in terms with the organization's requirements for control, documentation, security, reliability etc.

It a term used in IT for any application or transmission of data relied upon for business processes, which is not under the jurisdiction of a centralized IT or IS department. The IT department did not develop it, is or was not aware of it, and does not support it. It creates ‘unofficial’ and uncontrolled data flows, which makes compliance [Sarbanes-Oxley (SoX), and many other compliance-centric initiatives like - GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles, the standard framework of guidelines for financial accounting), - IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), - HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), - BASEL II (International Standards for Banking), - FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002), - ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library), COBIT (Control Objectives for IT), - TQM (Total Quality Management) etc. ] difficult.

Some examples of these unofficial data flows are USB sticks or other portable data storage devices, MSN Messenger or other online messaging software, Gmail or other online e-mail services, Google Docs or other online document sharing and Skype or other online VOIP software, and also other less straightforward products self-developed Access databases and self-developed Excel spreadsheets and macros.

Why do employees build or use shadow IT systems?
Generally it is believed that employees use shadow IT systems because they think there is no other way to get the data they need to do their jobs. For example, they might use spreadsheets for data analysis because they know how to use them, it is "free", they can exchange information with everyone and, most it gets them the results they need. [Sherman, R.,2004,Shedding light on Shadow Systems, DM Direct, Athena IT Solutions] .

A recent study [RSA,November 2007,The Confessions Survey: Office Workers Reveal Everyday Behavior That Places Sensitive Information at Risk,available from: ] confirms that 35% of employees feel they need to work around a security measure or protocol to be able to do their work efficiently. 63% send documents to their home e-mail address to continue work from home, even when they are aware that this is probably not allowed.Besides security risks, some of the implications of Shadow IT are: [Raden, N.,October 2005, Shadow IT: A Lesson for BI, BI Review Magazine, Data Management Review and SourceMedia, Inc.]
- Wasted Time: Shadow IT adds hidden costs to organizations, comprised largely of non-IT workers in finance, marketing, HR etc., who spend a significant amount of time discussing and re-checking the validity of certain data.
- Inconsistent Business Logic: If a ‘shadow IT’ spreadsheet application encapsulates its own definitions and calculations, it is likely that over time inconsistencies will arise from the accumulation of small differences from one version to another and from one group to another, as spreadsheets are often copied and modified. In addition, many errors that occur from either lack of understanding of the concepts or incorrect use of the spreadsheet frequently go undetected due to a lack of rigorous testing and version control.
- Inconsistent Approach: Even when the definitions and formulas are correct, the methodology for doing analysis can be distorted by the arrangement and flow of linked spreadsheets, or the process itself can be wrong.
- Wasted Investment: Shadow IT applications sometimes prevent full ROI from investments in systems that are designed to perform the functions now replaced by Shadow IT. This is often seen in data warehousing and BI projects, which are initiated with good intentions, where the broader and consistent usage of DW and BI in the organization never really starts off.
- Inefficiencies: Following on the example above, Shadow IT can be a barrier to innovation by blocking the establishment of more efficient work processes. Data might be exported from a BI system to a spreadsheet to perform the critical part of data analysis.
- Barrier to Enhancement: Shadow IT can act as a brake on the adoption of new technology. Because e.g. spreadsheets are deployed to fill critical needs, they must be replaced carefully. But lacking adequate documentation, controls and standards, that process is slow and error-prone.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shadow — (engl.: Schatten) steht für: The Shadow, ein US amerikanisches Hörspiel The Shadow (1937), US amerikanischer Film von Charles C. Coleman aus dem Jahr 1937 Shadow ist der Künstlername folgender Personen: DJ Shadow (bürgerlich: Josh Davis; * 1973) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shadow — Shad ow (sh[a^]d [ o]), n. [Originally the same word as shade. [root]162. See {Shade}.] 1. Shade within defined limits; obscurity or deprivation of light, apparent on a surface, and representing the form of the body which intercepts the rays of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shadow — [shad′ō] n. [ME schadwe < inflected forms (gen. & dat. sceadwe) of OE sceadu, SHADE] 1. a definite area of shade cast upon a surface by a body intercepting the light rays 2. the dark image made by such a body 3. [pl.] the growing darkness… …   English World dictionary

  • Shadow — (в переводе с англ. «Тень») может означать: The Shadow (журнал) Агент Shadow  кодовое имя Северина из игры BloodRayne 2 Тень (англ. Shadow)  связной из Бримстоуна, с которым Рэйн связывалась в игре BloodRayne Shadow  ёжик персонаж… …   Википедия

  • shadow — shad‧ow [ˈʆædəʊ ǁ doʊ] verb [transitive] 1. to watch someone very closely or work with them in order to learn how they do their job: • The managers were shadowed by trainees in the bank s development programme. 2. to change at the same rate or in …   Financial and business terms

  • shadow — [n1] darkness adumbration, cover, dark, dimness, dusk, gloom, obscuration, obscurity, penumbra, protection, shade, shelter, umbra, umbrage; concepts 620,622 Ant. brightness, light shadow [n2] hint, suggestion breath, intimation, memento, relic,… …   New thesaurus

  • Shadow — Shad ow, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Shadowed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shadowing}.] [OE. shadowen, AS. sceadwian. See {adow}, n.] 1. To cut off light from; to put in shade; to shade; to throw a shadow upon; to overspead with obscurity. [1913 Webster] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shadow — puede referirse a los siguientes conceptos: ● Shadow Racing Cars fue un equipo inglés de Formula Uno de la década de 1970. La compañía fue fundada por Don Nichols en 1971 como Advance Vehicle Systems (Sistemas de Vehículos Avanzados), pero la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • shadow — ► NOUN 1) a dark area or shape produced by an object coming between light rays and a surface. 2) partial or complete darkness. 3) a position of relative inferiority or obscurity. 4) sadness or gloom. 5) the slightest trace: without a shadow of a… …   English terms dictionary

  • Shadow dc — is an art installation housed in a political campaign for DC’s unpaid, non voting senate seat, also known as the Shadow Senate seat. It is arguably the first art project that can be elected to an actual, though meaningless, position in our… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”