Rogue or shadow technology refers to non-sanctioned IT pervading the enterprise, often under the nose of the CIO but just outside of his or her watchful gaze. Is this a net positive or negative for an organization? It depends on whom you ask.
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In the March issue of CIO Decisions e-zine, SearchCIO asked a series of technology practitioners and experts about shadow tech: its proliferation in the workplace, the agility they hope to draw from it and the possible ill effects it can pose -- particularly in the security and compliance realm. In addition to shadow tech, this issue also examined risk management, how CIOs can work with CFOs and the transition from legacy IT. Below are some of our favorite comments from the IT leaders and experts quoted in the issue.
"If you have a rogue IT unit, there's something broken between your business and IT. It's either a broken relationship or a broken delivery system."
-- Bart Murphy, CIO/CTO, CareWorks Family of Companies in Dublin
"We're too early in the use of the [service] catalog to know if it's successful, but we are very optimistic about the potential to reduce rogue IT, increase use of shared and central IT, and increase collaboration and innovation across the university."
-- Laura Patterson, CIO, University of Michigan
"Ultimately, risk is a business decision and the role of the CIO or chief security officer should be to facilitate and inform that decision, not make it themselves."
-- Andrew Horne, managing director, CEB
"[Board members] are saying an effective risk-management program means … they're not just getting a report once a year on the top ten risks, they actually have risk indicators that management is monitoring."
-- French Caldwell, vice president and fellow, Garter Inc.
"If someone's logic is, 'My job is to create awesome IT systems,' I would say, 'No, your job is to create awesome IT systems when they enable the creation of value.' If you are developing an awesome IT system [that] has no link to the core business, is not supported by the business itself and there's no way to monetize it, it's kind of like [a] tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it -- is there a sound?"
-- Wade Miquelon, CFO, Walgreen Co.
"My legacy complexity only gets in the way of our IT agility. My stated goal is for IT to be faster than the organization. We have accomplished that except where our work touches my un-architected, overly complex and highly customized legacy environment."
-- Niel Nickolaisen, CTO, O.C. Tanner Co.
"I don't think people have the luxury of going slow, unfortunately, at this point. They have to march ahead. And so, we encourage people to take what they're trying to accomplish, keep their eye on the business objective, and try to split it into as many discrete parts as they possibly can. Because the days in which somebody could say, 'Oh, well, this project will have a two-year implementation cycle' just doesn't hack it anymore."
-- John Mancini, president, AIIM