Benefits and Risks of Shadow IT in Health Care: A Narrative Review of the Literature



Shadow IT, Information Security, Health care, Regulations, Review


Currently, health care institutions are confronted with practices related to Shadow IT (SIT) that allow employees to improve their efficiency through tools that complement corporate-provided IT resources. Although SIT practices can be beneficial, they also create additional vulnerabilities and access points for cyberthreats in institutions where patient data are regarded as sensitive. Therefore, this research addresses the following question: What are the benefits and risks of SIT-related practices in health care? Based on a narrative review of the literature, including 220 articles, this research highlights several specificities of the health care context and their impact on research related to IT adoption and information security behaviors. In terms of managerial contributions, we formulate several proposals to better manage SIT-related risks, such as staff awareness and zero trust solutions. We also contribute to the academic literature by highlighting the interest of questioning specific drivers of reverse IT adoption, the phenomenon of pseudo-compliance and the impact of neutralization techniques. We also make several proposals for future research, such as studying the impact of emergency situations on the behavior of health care personnel.

Author Biographies

Paméla Baillette, University of Bordeaux, IRGO Research Center

Paméla Baillette is Associate Professor in Management Science-Information Systems at the University of Bordeaux, France. She is member of the research center IRGO-Bordeaux. Her current research interests include behavioral issues related to information security, technological and management innovation, and traceability related to agribusiness management. She has published research papers in International Journal of Information Management, Systèmes d’Information et Management, Revue Internationale P.M.E., Journal of Organizational Change Management, International Small Business Journal, Production Planning & Control, and Journal of Global Information Management.

Yves Barlette, Montpellier Business School

Dr. Yves BARLETTE is a Full Professor of Information Systems at the Montpellier Business School, France. His current research focuses on behavioral issues related to information security, and on the digital transformation of organizations. He has 19 publications appearing in journals such as Systèmes d’Information et Management, International Journal of Information Management, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Journal of Global Information Management, and Production Planning & Control. He also authored 14 books and book chapters.

Jean-François Berthevas, La Rochelle University School of ManagementCEREGE Research Center

Dr. Jean-Francois Berthevas is Associate Professor of Information Systems at La Rochelle University School of Management, France. He is member of the Centre de Recherche en Gestion (CEREGE, Poitiers & La Rochelle). His current research focuses on information security and behavioral issues, and on the digital transformation of organizations. He has been Director of the School of Management at the University of Orleans (France). He has 21 years of experience in business, including 10 years as an IT specialist and 7 years as manager in the field of telecommunications and cybersecurity in major companies (IBM GNS, AT&T GNS, Engie). He has published an article in the Systèmes d’Information et Management journal.



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Empirical research