Peter Sperry

In my experience, shadow software more often reflects a lack of responsiveness from the OIT shop than a desire for control. I was in a meeting about a year ago where a very senior career executive described a web tool her group had developed to track and organize their work. She told the group that one of her junior staffers had developed and tested the tool in just under three months. We all expressed astonishment they had been able to get a new system through the vision, architecture, needs analysis, comparative analysis, tech analysis, vision refresh etc, etc that typically drag out development projects and not uncommonly take 3 to 5 years to complete. She immediately became very emphatic that “It’s a tool not a system! It may be written in HTML code and reside on one of the division’s servers but it is NOT an IT system!” We all laughed in sympathy and asked if the organizations CIO shared her judgement. To which she replied “OIT doesn’t need to know about every tool we use, only the systems.” Personally, I like her style. It is one of the reasons her group is so successful.