CIOs worried about shadow IT, survey finds

Chief information officers (CIOs) are increasingly worried about the rise of shadow IT within their organisation.

Shadow IT refers to the adoption of cloud services without the sign off from the IT department. According to an independent survey of UK CIOs from enterprises with over 1,000 employees by market researchers at Vanson Bourne, heads of IT are concerned about security risks being posed by staff using unauthorised software and applications.

The research found that 89 per cent of CIOs are not taking the same diligent approach to ensuring the safety of public cloud options as they are when it comes to in-house solutions. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the vast majority (84 per cent) of IT leaders are worried that public cloud access is causing them to lose control over their systems.

A major factor leading to this concern is the rise of shadow IT; 60 per cent of CIOs said they thought shadow IT was becoming increasingly prevalent within their organisation. Furthermore, 79 per cent believe that there are cloud applications in use that IT does not know about, creating security challenges for the IT department.

Paul Cash, managing director at Fruition Partners UK, which commissioned the research, commented: "CIOs need to remember that while the availability of public cloud services may mean they need to provide fewer IT services themselves, it doesn't reduce the need for the management of those services.

"Of course, you should expect public cloud services to work faultlessly, however you'd be crazy to blindly trust that they will, without managing and monitoring how those services are delivered to the business."

Nevertheless, organisations are clearly not being deterred from deploying public cloud services. A report published by the International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that the cloud will reach a total global value of $70 million (£45.12 million) in 2015 on the back of increasing popularity of the IT model.

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