CIOs Losing Influence in the Face of Shadow IT

Ninety percent of CIOs surveyed reported that they are now bypassed by line-of-business colleagues at least occasionally.

logicalis and cios

The likelihood that chief information officers (CIOs) will be left out of the IT purchasing loop has grown every year since 2013, according to the latest Logicalis Global CIO survey.

The survey, which polled more than 400 CIOs worldwide, found that IT leaders are facing mounting pressure from shadow IT as line-of-business (LOB) executives continue to bypass the CIO and IT department when making technology investments.

In fact, the 2015 study indicates nearly one-third (31 percent) of CIOs globally are routinely bypassed by the LOB in IT purchasing decisions while the vast majority of IT leaders – 90 percent – find themselves bypassed at least some of the time.

For instance, in 2014, 72 percent of CIOs worldwide held the balance of power over IT purchasing decisions (controlling more than 50 percent of decisions), but this year, that figure has fallen by 6 percent.

According to the most recent survey, only two-thirds (66 percent) of CIOs hold the balance of power over spending--in line with CIOs’ expectations. In 2014, 62 percent expected line-of-business colleagues to gain more power in the future.

At the extreme end of the scale, almost one-third (31 percent) of CIOs globally find themselves bypassed often, very often or most of the time—a figure that rises to 51 percent in Latin American markets, but falls to 19 percent in Europe.

Overall, shadow IT is now a fact of life for the majority of CIOs, with 90 percent reporting that they are now bypassed by LOB colleagues at least occasionally.

CIOs around the world, however, are not sitting still. The survey results show a growing number (42 percent) are now actively embracing a new internal service provider model that will allow them to provide increased business value and relevancy to their LOB colleagues and internal IT users.

In addition, CIOs are spending almost half of their time (42 percent) on activities consistent with developing and delivering the internal service provider mode.

"It is well documented that today’s CIOs spend at least 60 percent or more of their current IT budget on tasks related to maintaining the status quo or keeping the lights on activities," Ed Konopasek, vice president of cloud and data center solutions at Logicalis US, told eWEEK. "This leaves very little time for the strategic innovation and problem solving that line of business leaders demand. Shadow IT is rampant in today’s marketplace and is growing at an exponential rate, especially since traditional enterprise IT doesn’t have the time or resources to deliver digital solutions at the velocity in which business operates today."

When asked to rate the role of mobile, analytics and social media technologies in driving business innovation, mobile and analytics were clear winners globally, with 62 percent and 63 percent of respondents citing them as very important or critical to business innovation.

Social media lags well behind, with only about a third (37 percent) viewing technologies and services like collaboration software, social Internet and community hubs as having high importance.