Executive Briefings

'Shadow IT' Can Be the Dark Side of Cloud Computing

The proliferation of cloud-computing services is enabling many companies to lower information-technology costs and the capital risk associated with innovation. But there is a darker consequence of the cloud: a rise in "shadow IT."

Shadow IT is the purchase or development of technology services outside the control or oversight of a company's IT department. It may occur because a business unit believes it has unique needs not met by the company's standardized computing services, or wants a quicker implementation than it would get from the IT department. Most large companies, wary of data-security risks and seeing standardization of IT practices and processes as a key value driver, wage endless war against shadow IT.

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The proliferation of cloud-computing services is enabling many companies to lower information-technology costs and the capital risk associated with innovation. But there is a darker consequence of the cloud: a rise in "shadow IT."

Shadow IT is the purchase or development of technology services outside the control or oversight of a company's IT department. It may occur because a business unit believes it has unique needs not met by the company's standardized computing services, or wants a quicker implementation than it would get from the IT department. Most large companies, wary of data-security risks and seeing standardization of IT practices and processes as a key value driver, wage endless war against shadow IT.

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