cloud computing

Is Shadow IT Following You Around a Little Too Closely?

Brett Harney Cloud

cloud computing

As technology continues to quickly advance, you should have a network capable of providing your business with the data performance required to keep pace. Part of this overall strategy includes utilizing cloud computing to get work done better and faster. However, you should be careful of what’s lurking in the shadows.

One valid reason to stay on top of the cloud curve is to avoid as much ‘shadow IT’ as possible with your workforce. What is this so-called shadow IT? It’s when employees use non-approved, usually cloud-based services that are not known by the IT department.

The reality is that employees want to use cloud services to get work done, but they’re not always secure about it. Businesses – small, medium and large – all face hurdles in getting approval or funding for technology pushed through. However, when a staff member has a project deadline looming and is in a holding pattern for approval, they may take matters into their own hands.

But such actions can go awry easily. One multinational firm ended up having to go to court, across three continents, to get client data back from an employee who had exported it to an unauthorized cloud storage system without her employer’s permission, before moving to a competitor.

That story, along with new research, states that more than four in five (83%) CIOs say ‘cloud sprawl’ makes IT management more complex.

Other survey results say that 60% of those polled said the simplicity with which employees can sign up to public cloud services without IT’s approval is putting the organization at risk. More than three quarters (79%) suspect there are cloud apps being used by individuals that IT does not know about, while a similar number (78%) argue there is financial waste due to these non-approved products being used without service management processes.

As the article wrapped up, it hit home on some key points, because shadow IT truly is both a risk and an opportunity.

“The fact that a shadow IT infrastructure builds up is actually a great chance for the CIO to take that existing knowledge, and to deliver the services back to the business in a more controlled and managed fashion.”

Yet the overall report argues the shadow IT culture and cloud sprawl is giving the CIO headaches. It offers three best practice tips for C-level execs to ‘bring the cloud under control’:

  • focusing on the user, to provide a better service to the organization;
  • focusing on IT services, and how they can make better use of ITSM processes; and
  • focusing on business needs, by more effective measuring and monitoring.

With increased usage of cloud technologies, your network performance must be ready for the increased demands. Are you ready to rethink your data network and ensure it is optimized to meet the increasing demands of today’s applications? If you need a partner in the cloud, then let’s talk about how we can help you.