IT bosses risk losing control of their departments as workers continue to use various hardware and applications without gaining permission, it has been claimed.

The trend, known as ‘shadow IT’ has existed for some time now, but according to Cisco EMEAR president Chris Dedicoat, it’s becoming more of an issue for CIOs as time goes on.

In an address at this week’s Cisco Live in Milan event, he highlighted the dangers that should be considered by both CEOs and their IT managers. He believes firms are putting their futures at risk, with intellectual property and other sensitive company data more likely to be exposed.

Mr Dedicoat thinks the cloud is a particularly prominent concern. He was quoted by as saying: “I think the challenge for the CIO is that they’re losing control – most importantly over management and security.

“In the research we’ve done enterprises are using about seven cloud based services [on average] that the CIO doesn’t know about.”

Adding to this, independent analyst Zeus Kerravala claims the way IT departments operate has changed in recent years, with CIOs now expected to “predict what business leaders want”, while also maintaining their focus on innovation.  It’s for this reason that so many have turned to the cloud.