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Until recently the effects of shadow IT and the consumerization of IT were fairly easy to identify and their impact on enterprises’ communications and collaboration infrastructures was generally well understood. However, the situation has become more nuanced.


  • Employees who use Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and other cloud-based communications applications for personal reasons (to communicate with family and friends) often start to use them in the workplace as well.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes the shadow IT's impact on enterprises' use of communications and collaboration technology.
  • Explains why entire departments within the enterprise are turning to shadow IT.

Key questions answered

  • How is shadow IT impacting enterprises' communications and collaboration strategies?
  • What should operators do in response to the increasingly complicated shadow IT phenomenon?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Shadow IT’s increasingly complex impact on collaboration

  • Familiarity and accessibility drive the use of consumer-grade communications software

Approaches to shadow IT and collaboration

  • Whitelist, blacklist, or ignore: Consumer apps with no business features
  • Coat with a business veneer: Consumer apps slightly modified to make them more business friendly
  • Remove from the shadow: Consumer apps with business-specific versions

Business applications replicate the consumerization model

  • Business apps sold directly to end users

Shadow IT’s financial impact on enterprises

  • Driving up costs

Operator response to shadow IT

  • Advising, partnering, and delivering


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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