Thanks To The Cloud, CIOs Are Reining In Shadow IT

Two years ago, analyst firm Gartner predicted that by 2015, over 35 percent of IT spend would no longer be controlled by the IT department. Shadow IT was going to eat the CIO's lunch and business units would directly procure cloud solutions bypassing corporate IT teams. Summing up the prevailing consensus, Gartner analyst Mark P. McDonald remarked, "Shadow IT is growing in many organizations driven by consumerized technology, mobility, the availability of cloud solutions and quite frankly relatively slow cycle times within captive IT organizations."

However, instead of rendering IT departments irrelevant, the cloud has enabled CIOs become instrumental in selecting technology that helps employees do their job effectively. Verizon's Enterprise Cloud 2014 report confirms that IT departments are playing a crucial role in business transformation and the "cloud is fundamentally redefining IT’s relevance to the business." What resulted in this transformation? According to the report: "The best CIOs have made building strong ties with the lines of business a core objective. This has been helped by a general growth in the level of IT savviness and a shared focus on innovation as a differentiator."

Increasing cloud adoption has enhanced the role of IT departments in procuring technology that meets business goals, reducing implementation risks with clearly defined policies, and defining governance and standards for cloud usage. Today the business is looking at IT leaders to "enable innovative application and product development while maintaining security."

Some highlights on the waning of shadow IT from the report:

  • Over 80% of cloud spend is managed by the IT department. And 62% of that has the direct involvement of the CIO.
  • The CIO and their team actively own most cloud decisions, particularly when it comes to IaaS and PaaS purchases.
  • Cloud decisions are being driven by IT leaders. The IT function is playing a vital role in improving the rigor with which cloud procurement is approached.

Internal IT has tamed the specter of shadow IT by embracing the cloud and helping business “obtain the required standards of compliance, security, reliability, performance, and value for money in service delivery.” Here's to greater innovation, quicker delivery, and more freedom with the cloud, all thanks to enterprise IT!


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