Shadow IT can increase innovation—agree or disagree? Let's hear the reasons behind your answer.

Strongly agree14%



Strongly disagree2%


1.5k views7 Comments

Director, IT Architecture in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Shadow IT actually draws resources and attention away from innovation.  95% of the time it is a nuisance that is insecure, lacks support (internal or external) and can create inaccurate results that could be detrimental to a companies operations.  The fact that sometimes IT has to chase down these solutions creates effort that could've been used for innovation.
CIO in Education, 201 - 500 employees
I believe it *can* increase innovation by forcing the conversations. IT teams/leaders that are threatened even remotely by shadow IT are oftentimes (not always, don’t @ me) complacent and simply keeping the lights on. Any tech movement that facilitates conversations and meeting of the minds can introduce something new and different and I think those opportunities should be celebrated.

Other times? Folks are just wanting shadow IT to silo themselves off. But still, it introduces a topic for conversation. So use it.
Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Most IT projects need hard ROI. The business is usually willing to experiment more. In our company the business department’s brought in PCs then networking and email. Eventually the official IT department had to embrace those technologies

More recently it was WebEx and Gensys adoption in the 2000’s

IT can’t be expected to discover everything. Nor expected to support everything. Some investments will stick and others will need to go
GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees
It can increase innovation but does it also have a good chance to increase vulnerabilities?  wdyt?
1 2 Replies
Chief Security Officer in Software, 10,001+ employees

Shadow IT is the result of something not working within your normal IT and Operations processes. The supposed increase in innovation will come at a cost against supportability, fractured strategies and security. As suggests it will decrease security posture because shadow IT typically does not conform to the same security standards and is also not being managed for risk and vulnerabilities in an organized way. IMO shadow IT is one of the biggest security risks to any organization.

GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees

Thanks Lee! Appreciate your insight

Director of IT in Construction, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I think it can, but in my limited experience in bigger organization, I have yet to see a shadow IT project being scaled up. They usually end up being tolerated, somewhat controlled and eventually replaced by a more structured and larger process or technology.

The innovation in what I have seen is less about the technology itself, but more in the ideas that served as the basis of these shadow projects. And some of them can be brillant.

But obviously, lack of proper controls and tech skills often render these projects as major security risks. They also often end up as massive pains to the IT team that will too often have to recuperate and maintain whatever Matt or Jim created in their time off with MS Access or other low code tech after they left the company.

So, yes, there can be innovation in shadow IT, but the cost can be pretty steep if it gets out of control.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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