Cloud and the Wild West of Shadow IT – Manage your Risks

For CIOs, CFOs and technology professionals, Cloud Computing has created a sea change as to how organizations have handled the operational side of IT.  No one would argue that the Cloud has provided immense value and efficiencies to organizations large and small. However, for all the positives, and there are many – the Cloud has accelerated and empowered the Wild West mentality of business lines within each organization. No longer do you need to wait weeks for IT to procure a server and configure an environment for a new initiative.   On a Friday afternoon, a business group may decide that a new portal is necessary for a strategic partnership, and by Monday, the environment would be ready.

That begs the question: Who is responsible to manage the environment, provide operational controls, visibility and guidance as to the cost? Where does IT fit in this new dynamic? Never before has IT Service Management been more important to ensure that the Cloud is in alignment with Corporate Policy.  But how does an organization manage the cloud when new environments may pop up daily or weekly?  With large enterprise cloud infrastructures, even in the best scenarios, it becomes challenging for an organization to keep track of all the increased usage of Cloud with and without IT visibility.

In an Oct 11th article from CIO Magazine titled 7 Ways to Take Back Your Cloud Strategy, the article discusses the Concept of Shadow IT.  “In 2015, 35 percent of IT spend was managed outside of IT departments,  and by 2017, Gartner predicts that CMOs alone will spend more on IT services than CIOs. This includes both insecure and secure cloud apps and services that employees and business units are increasingly adopting without ITs knowledge or oversight – a movement known as Shadow IT. Today, every department from accounting to engineering is stealthily adopting these cloud services, causing serious problems for IT professionals who have to then quickly gain visibility and control over these services. What’s more, this process threatens to render IT irrelevant in critical IT purchasing and planning decisions. The reality is you cannot transform what you cannot see. Gaining visibility and control over cloud apps is the first step in putting IT professionals firmly in the driver’s seat with respect to cloud IT planning. “

The CIO article continues on to discuss the seven ways to take control of your cloud strategy including:

·        Automate Discovery for Cloud Application: Select a product or agent that automates the laborious step of analyzing firewall logs

·        Rethink what Visibility Means in the Cloud: Unlike On-Prem Apps, not all Cloud Activity will be within the company firewall perimeter, and as a result, all employee activity needs to be reviewed whether inside or outside the network perimeter.

·        Develop a Detailed Cloud Governance Strategy: This step is important whether your organization is already deep into the Cloud or just starting out. Ensure all business lines are represented.

·        Ensure all Apps are Business Ready: From a security perspective, understand compliance requirements and choose cloud apps that are in compliance with company policy.

·        Reduce Cloud Costs and Complexity: This step will eliminate redundancy, ensuring account consolidation is in place. The downside is without an effective platform and process, this could become a full-time job.

·        Identify Risks to Cloud Accounts and Data: This step will ensure security and monitoring is in place and enable the organization to be prepared for the various threats that the cloud may introduce.

·        Provide Monthly Executive Level Reporting: Comprehensive periodic reporting will enable the Executive Team to understand the importance and Value of IT in the Cloud Generation.

In last couple of years, organizations have attempted to put a layer of business process into Cloud proliferation. However, until very recently there was no uniform platform that was built to be compatible with all the major cloud providers (AWS, Azure & Google) and was able to ensure ITSM capabilities to the entire cloud infrastructure process. In 2016, JetSweep partnered with an organization that provides analytic reporting, policy-driven automation and governance for cost, usage, performance, security and RIs in public cloud (AWS/Google/Azure) environments.  Most of the Seven Key Ways from the CIO Article are enabled by leveraging this platform.

At JetSweep, our focus is to drive visibility, efficiency and governance in the public cloud. We operate heavily through policies and automation that can significantly reduce the effort a company needs to put into managing a dynamic cloud environment. We are working with many of the largest Cloud customers in the world, and these customers are saving an average of 20% cost reduction each month while gaining back control of their Cloud Strategy.  Does that describe your organization? Email me with your thoughts at cbarbanti@jetsweep.co

 

Chris Barbanti is a Co-Founder of JetSweep.  JetSweep www.jetsweep.co is a Strategic IT and Analytics Advisory Organization that provides transformative business and information technology solutions in the areas of Business Analytics & Big Data, IT Service Management (ITSM), Cloud Enablement & Management.  At JetSweep, we work with our clients to help them visualize and prepare for the challenges in the changing technology landscape and provide clear and concise strategic roadmap solutions.   Please email me at cbarbanti@jetsweep.co to schedule a demo of the Cloud Management Platform and discuss your Cloud ITSM Strategy.

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