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How leading CIOs deal with shadow IT

CIO Executive Council | June 17, 2014
Learn how three innovate CIOs are minimizing the risks of shadow IT, optimizing opportunities and building better partnerships.

Embrace the Advantages

Ursula Soritsch-Renier, CIO, Sulzer: I'm not afraid of shadow IT. These solutions, when proven, bring innovation to the company, which is good. This is not about creating an isolated IT empire — different groups are working hand-in-hand to make the company successful.

Additionally, I'm not in a support role with no opinion, I'm a partner at the table with my business peers to create the best solutions for our company and customers. We are working together, and it can get messy. IT needs to accept this. Our department has an important role — we are the integrators, the ones creating the framework and finding solutions across functional boundaries.

We also need to reflect on our own role in creating shadow IT. Sometimes other departments turn to shadow IT because we're not sufficiently staffed or we're not listening well enough. The business has no solution or alternative, and their end users just need to do something to help themselves. We need to be honest about these deficiencies and understand why shadow IT happens. No one does IT for the fun of it — business users have a need.

When shadow IT projects don't succeed, it's a reaffirmation that the business actually needs us. Overall, we should work with shadow IT and see it as another opportunity for us all to add value.


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