Beyond Blinking Lights and Acronyms is a consistently thought-provoking blog from “currently resting” CIO Mike Schaffner. In this entry he calls out a recent piece which looks at the challenge of trying to run an IT capability when individual business groups also have their own separate IT teams. Mike calls this “Shadow IT“.

The key to resolving this challenge, as we explain in the book, is to first accept reality – as a CIO or IT Director in the 21st Century you cannot, and will never be able to, control all IT activity that goes on within your organisation. Once you accept that, you can start to work with business teams and their own IT groups to build trust and influence. The critical thing to get right is that you have to be able to pick your battles – to know what’s really important to put effort into standardising across an organisation, and also to know where you should adopt a more relaxed approach.