IT management

21 Shadow IT Management Statistics You Need to Know

October 28, 2020

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With shadow IT management on the rise, experts estimate that 40% of all IT spending at a company takes place outside of the IT department.

You might be asking why does all this IT spending take place outside of the IT department? The reason is because there is so much growth from cloud applications such as file sharing and collaboration tools that IT spending has become a key part of keeping any business competitive.

The growth of IT spending is also increasing employee productivity by equipping them with the tools they need to be successful. With constant growth from SaaS applications, employees are becoming quicker and more efficient in their day-to-day roles. As SaaS applications streamline the amount of manual work, businesses are seeing more productivity from their employees.

Let's take a look at Shadow IT statistics and how it can impact your business, for better or for worse.

Shadow IT usage statistics

With shadow IT becoming more popular in the workplace, it is incredible to see just how many people are using software that was not approved by IT. As more cloud software becomes available you will see a rise in these statistics in the coming years.

    • 80% of workers admit to using SaaS applications at work without getting approval from IT.
    • Shadow IT cloud usages estimated to be 10x the size of known cloud usage.
    • The average company has 975 unknown cloud services.
    • Most companies have over 108 known cloud services.
    • 35% of employees say they need to work around their company’s security policy to get their job done.
    • Roughly 21% of organizations do not have a policy around the use of new technology.
    • 67% of teams have introduced their own collaboration tools into an organization.
    • 82% of teams have pushed backed on IT or management about which collaboration tools should be used.


of surveyed professionals believe that their organization could gain an advantage from embracing shadow IT solutions.

  • Approximately $34 billion in yearly licensing waste is generated each year between the US and UK.
  • 8% of software licenses are only used once a month.
  • Products that don’t have a clear owner, contract, or approval make up between 10-15% of a company’s tech stack.

Shadow IT security risk statistics

When it comes to shadow IT, there are many risks that can arise. The main danger of using a software not approved by your IT department is data leaks. Data leaks can cost a company millions of dollars in damages and thousands of dollars more in trying to recover the data.

So remember to always check with your IT department when it comes to using any type of new software.

    • 79% of employees said the biggest threat of introducing new technologies without IT’s approval is risking the security of the company.
    • 28% of IT leaders are using some kind of SaaS management tool to get visibility into shadow IT that is necessary to protect their data and systems.
    • 33% of people said security was their biggest concern when migrating to the cloud.


of IT professionals reported that employees stored company data on unsanctioned cloud services.

  • By 2025, three in four people believe that shadow IT will be a bigger security issue at their companies.

Shadow IT cost statistics

With any large organization you can expect them to have a budget set aside for software needed to fit the needs of each department. Organizations are not allocating budgets for shadow IT usage which is leading to budgets being misused.

    • 59% of people surveyed said IT spend and cost overruns was the second most concerning topic when it comes to shadow IT.


of enterprise technology funding is now spent outside IT's purview.

  • A recent study from EMC suggests that data loss and downtime cost a total of $1.7 trillion each year due to shadow IT security breaches.

Shadow IT popularity is growing everyday

With so many companies being overtaken by shadow IT software options, it has become so important to be able to monitor the usage within your company.

If you want to be prepared to fully take control of your tech stack, make sure you are using G2 Track to monitor software spend and keep your stack secure.

G2 track
Catch security risks

Don't let shadow IT cause data leaks or cost overruns. Take back control with G2 Track.

Manage your software costs with G2 Track.