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It’s no surprise that Shadow IT continues to create headaches for corporate IT professionals, but a new study, which polled more than 400 CIOs worldwide, delves much deeper into this problem and the solution that top IT pros worldwide are fast embracing.

The survey shows that IT leaders around the world 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. LOB, the study shows, are simply looking for better, faster access to IT services, and the consumerization of IT and the widespread availability of as-a-service cloud options has made it convenient for them to sidestep IT in the process. In fact, the 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.

This has created significant headaches for CIOs who must maintain IT governance and security measures within their organizations. CIOs, however, are not sitting still: 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.

Interestingly, while CIOs have been fighting the battle to retain the balance of power in IT decision-making – with most still bypassed at least some of the time – the survey also found that two-thirds (66 percent) of CIOs today actually do hold the balance of power over technology spending, making more than half of the IT purchasing decisions in their organizations.

While still significant, this number reflects a six percent decline in the number of CIOs holding this power in the last year. Clearly, top IT professionals must make impactful changes to regain control of their organizations’ IT spend: Propelled by the threat of shadow IT, CIOs are being forced to re-align their IT strategies to better serve the needs of their LOB colleagues and transform their IT departments in a way that makes them the logical first choice for IT service procurement.

The study indicates that CIOs around the globe are taking this to heart spending almost half of their time (42 percent) on activities consistent with developing and delivering the internal service provider model – “engaging with line of business” and “scoping and providing new IT services.”

What CIOs around the world are finding is that the transformation into an internal service provider results in a leaner IT department dedicated to managing a portfolio of services rather than simply technology per se. It allows them to deliver a faster response to the technology demands of their LOB colleagues and to free themselves and their IT teams from the day-to-day operational tasks that have traditionally consumed so much of their time.  The report indicates that 38 percent of the CIOs polled now spend at least half of their time on more strategic activities, a move that not only delivers the better, faster technology services access their LOB colleagues want, but also solidifies their relevancy within their organizations.

How does this apply to you? Download a copy of the survey results to see how you compare to your worldwide peers, then read “Why Every CEO Wants to Lead a Service-Defined Enterprise and Why the CIO Needs to Make it Happen” to learn more about what you can do to start this transition in your own organization. You can also watch a brief video that explains CIOs’ shift from “technology-defined” to “services-defined” thinking, then hear Logicalis’ CEO, Vince DeLuca, discuss how this transformation in technologies, operational and consumption models will result in a services-defined experience in his recent address at the IT Best of Breed conference: