Shadow IT is an issue that just about every organization faces on some level, but when I speak to executives and IT leaders, it’s simply not a topic that comes up. When I do bring it up, it quickly becomes clear that the tech industry as a whole underestimates the size and scope of the issue. And that lack of awareness and understanding is posing an ever-increasing threat to data protection and cybersecurity.
Some executives I speak with haven’t even heard the term “shadow IT,” which refers to systems, software, or applications that individuals in an organization use on a regular basis without the knowledge of executive leadership or the IT department. And when I tell them that recent research by the Everest Group found that upwards of 50 percent of technology spend in organizations lurks in the shadows, I can see their jaws drop. This means that half their budgets are being spent on software that teams, groups, and business units are purchasing (and using) without the IT department’s knowledge.
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