Influence of Shadow IT on Innovation in Organizations

Mario Silic, Dario Silic, Goran Oblakovic


Shadow IT is relatively new and emerging phenomenon which is bringing number of concerns and risks to the organizational security. Past literature has mostly explored the “negative” effects of the Shadow IT phenomenon, including, for example, the security aspect where Shadow systems are said to undermine the official systems and endanger organizational data flows. However, the question of how Shadow IT can contribute to leverage user’s innovation has not been adequately addressed. We used three methods to understand if Shadow IT can be an important source of innovation for firms: 1) Single case study with international firm that adopted Shadow IT; 2) Interviews with 15 IT executives and 3) Focus group using twitter as enabling tool to interact with 65 IT professionals. We offer a new perspective on how Shadow IT practices can leverage user’s innovation. The study offers novel insights on the role of Shadow users in the organizational innovation process and how they contribute to new innovations by using Shadow IT. Not only this user led innovation through Shadow IT brings positive outcomes for the employee, but it also reveals the path to follow for organizations to increase their innovation capabilities.


Shadow IT; software; organizational IT; shadow systems; information security; innovation

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DOI: 10.7250/csimq.2016-8.06


1. The impact of mobile shadow IT usage on knowledge protection: an exploratory study
Mohammed Abbas, Adnan Alghail
VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems  vol: 53  issue: 4  first page: 830  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1108/VJIKMS-08-2020-0155


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