Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Could Education for Sustainable Development Benefit from a Systems Thinking Approach?
Previous Article in Journal
Close the Loop! System Dynamics Modelling in Service Design
Previous Article in Special Issue
Systemic Semantics: A Systems Approach to Building Ontologies and Concept Maps
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Systems 2018, 6(4), 42;

Conceptualizing Shadow IT Integration Drawbacks from a Systemic Viewpoint

Institute for Process Control (kips), Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, Alfred-Wachtel-Str. 8, D-78462 Konstanz, Germany
Faculty of Computer Science, Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, An der Hochschule 1, D-86161 Augsburg, Germany
Department of Information Systems, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Silbermannstr. 2, D-09599 Freiberg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Thinking)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1298 KB, uploaded 11 December 2018]   |  


Business units are increasingly able to fuel the transformation that digitalization demands of organizations. Thereby, they can implement Shadow IT (SIT) without involving a central IT department to create flexible and innovative solutions. Self-reinforcing effects lead to an intertwinement of SIT with the organization. As a result, high complexities, redundancies, and sometimes even lock-ins occur. IT Integration suggests itself to meet these challenges. However, it can also eliminate the benefits that SIT presents. To help organizations in this area of conflict, we are conducting a literature review including a systematic search and an analysis from a systemic viewpoint using path dependency and switching costs. Our resulting conceptual framework for SIT integration drawbacks classifies the drawbacks into three dimensions. The first dimension consists of switching costs that account for the financial, procedural, and emotional drawbacks and the drawbacks from a loss of SIT benefits. The second dimension includes organizational, technical, and level-spanning criteria. The third dimension classifies the drawbacks into the global level, the local level, and the interaction between them. We contribute to the scientific discussion by introducing a systemic viewpoint to the research on shadow IT. Practitioners can use the presented criteria to collect evidence to reach an IT integration decision. View Full-Text
Keywords: shadow IT; IT integration; IT integration drawbacks; application integration; path dependency; path biography; switching costs shadow IT; IT integration; IT integration drawbacks; application integration; path dependency; path biography; switching costs

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Huber, M.; Zimmermann, S.; Rentrop, C.; Felden, C. Conceptualizing Shadow IT Integration Drawbacks from a Systemic Viewpoint. Systems 2018, 6, 42.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Systems EISSN 2079-8954 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top