Is "Shadow IT” On the Rise in Your Organization?

I spoke with a VP of Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) for a large healthcare organization at lunch the other day. We were chatting about a seminar we had both attended on Cloud computing. One of the points we discussed was the increase in “shadow IT” (i.e. business units going outside IT to purchase services) due to the rapid adoption of cloud computing. This particular executive was quick to point out that within his organization, shadow IT activities had reached an all-time high. One example he gave was being approached by the chief surgeon at one of the hospital locations they support. The surgeon wanted to know if IT had space in their data center for two additional server racks. Perplexed and a bit alarmed, the VP first indicated to the surgeon that they did have the space—and then began asking questions about why, all the while hoping that they had not signed a contract with an outside vendor yet.


Although the real-world example I just gave might be a bit extreme, it’s not surprising considering the market conditions of today. Business units are ever demanding services and software that can help them grow. In the past, they have always looked to IT to provide those services. But as the economy worsened budgets were reduced and many IT organizations found themselves struggling to meet the demand. IT was overwhelmed with multiple requirements for new services that were needed “yesterday” with performance and availability second to none and delivered at low cost to help the business customer stay competitive in the market.


With the proliferation of outside vendors offering various services via the cloud and lack of consistent, predictable service delivery from IT—whether real or imagined—business is finding it very tempting to entertain those offers. Particularly since these vendors offer services that are ready now, are paid for based on actual usage and include service delivery guarantees. One way to compete with these external vendors and reduce shadow IT activities and outsourcing is by demonstrating consistent, competitive service delivery to your business customers.


Application performance monitoring can be one of the most cost effective solutions today for helping you not only maintain a solid track record of outstanding service delivery but also demonstrate results to your customers, showing them exactly how their key business services and web transactions are performing and what impact they are having on the consumers of those services. I would invite you to visit to learn more about what Quest’s APM solution does to improve service delivery and help you market the value of IT to your business customers.