ABSTRACT

In several organizations, business workgroups autonomously implement information technology (IT) outside the purview of the IT department. Shadow IT, evolving as a type of workaround from nontransparent and unapproved end-user computing (EUC), is a term used to refer to this phenomenon, which challenges norms relative to IT controllability. This report describes shadow IT based on case studies of three companies and investigates its management. In 62 percent of cases, companies decided to reengineer detected instances or reallocate related subtasks to their IT department. Considerations of risks and transaction cost economics with regard to specificity, uncertainty, and scope explain these actions and the resulting coordination of IT responsibilities between the business workgroups and IT departments. This turns shadow IT into controlled business-managed IT activities and enhances EUC management. The results contribute to the governance of IT task responsibilities and provide a way to formalize the role of workarounds in business workgroups.

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