Did you ever run into a cranky IT manager? Whew, I have. They were cranky more often than not?

Why? Well for one thing, someone was always trying steal away their employees or usurp what they do. Of course, we couldn’t as end users. They controlled everything and liked it that way. Now, that’s all changing. Check out the tweet below from the CITE Conference (Consumerization of IT Expo) in San Francisco March 4-6. 

“RT @mbucken: RT @vpotter: In 2000, 10% of IT was outside control of IT dept. Now 30% and climbing fast. @dhinchcliffe#CITEconf

What are the implications of IT people operating outside the control of the IT department? What is an IT person (or who?) if they are not in the IT department? Is IT getting absorbed in other departments in the enterprise? Has the number of employees with technical skills or even a technology vision mushroomed?

I thought the Wikipedia definition of Shadow IT might help. That’s th term the term to describe IT services outside the walls of the IT department. You know: the ones that end users really want and can’t wait for. These are examples of Shadow IT a la Wikipedia:

“Some examples of these unofficial data flows are USB sticks or other portable data storage devices, MSN Messenger or other online messaging software, Gmail or other online e-mail services, Google Docs or other online document sharing and Skype or other online VOIP software, and also other less straightforward products self-developed Access databases and self-developed Excel spreadsheets and macros.” 

Are you kidding? Someone using Skype or developing Excel macros is considered Shadow IT!? People have been doing that for years and 99% of them were never considered IT folk..Shadow IT is more sophisticated than a user running a desktop app.

It’s more like signing up for cloud services and running what could be considered enterprise software like a database or just about any app you’d find operating entirely inside the enterprise walls. Consider that Amazon Web Services claims to have “hundreds of thousands” of customers in 190 countries. I read 250,000 about a year ago for AWS…a number that’s bound to have grown.  

For the sake of argument, consider that 10% or 25,000 of those customers are operating within the enterprise but outside the IT officialdom. And I’d venture that 10% is a low estimate.

But don’t stop there. Take 10% of all customers across 50 of the top cloud providers (see graphic) and you have hundreds of thousands of Shadow IT accounts. Folks starting these clouds could be marketing managers, floor foremen, social media evangelists, sales or financial managers – the `new IT’ if you will. Or the `not IT’ – take your pick.

And the renegade clouds are but one Shadow IT activity, albeit a BIG one.   

I am not at the CITE Conference to verify the tweet suggesting that nearly a third of IT people operate outside of the IT department. I have a reply tweet in to find out the source and context, but the trend sounds right.

What do you think?

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