Catalog Sprawl Stings IT Departments Trying to Do It All

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    Five Tips for Overcoming Shadow IT in the Enterprise

    You’ve faced storage sprawl, cloud services sprawl, backup sprawl, and so many other types of sprawl that the word “sprawl” starts to look weird, as if it is not a real word.

    Now comes catalog sprawl, the result of too many user-facing front-end tools for IT to manage efficiently and effectively. A new PMG study found that 43 percent of the IT professionals it surveyed said the problem is hurting their organizations. Seventy-one percent report having up to five of these user-facing tools to manage.

    The 2014 PMG Catalog Sprawl Survey gathered data from 236 corporate IT professionals in North America. Though the push right now from the business and from vendors is for more self-serve options for users and customers, especially for business intelligence tools, their proliferation has overwhelmed IT groups. PMG’s respondents say the hurdles to rectifying the situation include:

    • Buy-in from business leaders (42 percent)
    • Legacy applications and software (37 percent)
    • Insufficient budget (35 percent)
    • Lack of IT staff expertise (33 percent)
    • Buy-in from IT leadership (31 percent)

    What these IT departments would like their peers to understand is that the biggest risks associated with catalog sprawl are serious:

    • Increased admin expenses (72 percent)
    • Decreased value of the service and offerings portfolio (60 percent)
    • Increased software expenditures (52 percent)

    Not surprisingly, 67 percent said a “single pane of glass” approach to catalog offerings would help IT be more strategic, and 95 percent said that approach would be effective for their organizations. Should they have the opportunity to do so, metrics used to verify that would include usage, quality of consumption and service level impact.

    Finding the balance will also be key to alleviating the tools that remain within the “shadow IT” area, outside of IT’s control, but still relying on some level of support, and addressing the desire for IT to pull together everything that everyone wants to use and make it all both safe and easy.


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