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Systems 2016, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/systems4010011

The Relation of Shadow Systems and ERP Systems—Insights from a Multiple-Case Study

Institute for Process Control (kips), Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, Brauneggerstr. 55, Konstanz D-78462, Germany
Department of Information Systems, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Silbermannstr. 2, Freiberg D-09599, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Donald Kerr
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 13 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enterprise Resource Planning Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [704 KB, uploaded 29 January 2016]   |  


ERP systems integrate a major part of all business processes and organizations include them in their IT service management. Besides these formal systems, there are additional systems that are rather stand-alone and not included in the IT management tasks. These so-called ‘shadow systems’ also support business processes but hinder a high enterprise integration. Shadow systems appear during their explicit detection or during software maintenance projects such as enhancements or release changes of enterprise systems. Organizations then have to decide if and to what extent they integrate the identified shadow systems into their ERP systems. For this decision, organizations have to compare the capabilities of each identified shadow system with their ERP systems. Based on multiple-case studies, we provide a dependency approach to enable their comparison. We derive categories for different stages of the dependency and base insights into integration possibilities on these stages. Our results show that 64% of the shadow systems in our case studies are related to ERP systems. This means that they share parts or all of their data and/or functionality with the ERP system. Our research contributes to the field of integration as well as to the discussion about shadow systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: shadow systems; shadow IT; ERP systems; enterprise systems; relation; dependency; integration shadow systems; shadow IT; ERP systems; enterprise systems; relation; dependency; integration

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Huber, M.; Zimmermann, S.; Rentrop, C.; Felden, C. The Relation of Shadow Systems and ERP Systems—Insights from a Multiple-Case Study. Systems 2016, 4, 11.

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