Shadow systems are frequently used as a justification for the implementation of ERPs.  Shadow systems are often, but not always, reflective of practice and DATA STORAGE needs in particular functional silos.  Yet oddly, the implementation of an ERP doesn’t always eliminate these systems – sometimes, the number of them increases.  Suggest possible causes.  What threat do these systems pose to integration?  Who or what else might be threatened by the existence of these systems?

Shadow Systems can be everything coming from individual spreadsheets to your complete a redundant ERP process, employed to ensure that each of the performance and facts can be found following a good enhance or maybe substitution. Frequently presently there seems to be legitimate advantages for these kind of systems to be able to exist would be to help a specialized requirement, to be able to study business facts in a very different methods next just what will come in the organization ERP, or simply just ‘because there is no different technique to get the facts they want for jobs’ (Sherman, 2004).

Shadow systems are a menace in order to organisational command in addition to being reported by simply Jones et al (2004) these methods ‘undermine ES rendering thus need to be eliminated’. The situation associated with employees generating thousands of disparate MS Acess Entry directories grew to be thus substantial to the Foreign Office associated with Protection which his or her Chief Information Operation Collection (CIOG), carried out a plan inside 2005 which taken off your MS Access program coming from almost all users’ profiles. They then responsible just about every operator of those directories in order to publish justification as to the reasons these shadow methods need to be migrated ahead of almost all left over data files had been removed.

The intention of the Company process is always to provide a “seamless integration of all the info going via a company—financial and also accounting info, individual useful resource info, offer sequence info, and also customer information” (Davenport, 1998, g. 121). The shadow system is usually a menace on the accomplishment regarding ERP since it is not integrated. The result of this deficiency of integration can be that imprecise or unfinished info can result in weak decision making.

The double entry requirement needed to maintain a shadow system can:

  • Increase Costs
  • Reduce customer satisfaction
  • Reduce collaboration
  • Reduce agility
  • Reduce productivity

Shadow programs are made for just a particular purpose but not portion of virtually any middle plan. When a firm endeavors to create an interior evaluation of these techniques along with organization state, these kind of darkness programs tend to be the location where the best info is usually located, however make a genuine headache for integrators inside the growth involving ERP systems.


Davenport, T 1998, ‘Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System’Harvard Business Review, July August, pp. 121–131, viewed 18 July 2013


Jones, D, Behrens, S, Jamieson, K & Tansley, E 2004, The rise and fall of a shadow system: lessons for enterprise system implementation, pp. 1-15, viewed 20 July 2013,


Sherman, R 2004, ‘Shedding Light on Data Shadow Systems’, Information MANAGEMENT News, viewed 25 July 2013