CIO Magazine recently featured a Cisco study that suggested CIOs vastly underestimate the extent of Shadow IT. While this might not surprise many IT veterans, the extent of the underestimation may. According to Cisco:
Consulting with CIOs and analyzing network traffic in a set of large enterprises in a variety of industries, Cisco determined that the typical firm has on the order of 15 to 22 times more cloud applications running in the workplace than have been authorized by the IT department. On average, CIOs surveyed estimated that there were 51 cloud services running within their organization. According to Cisco’s analysis, the actual number is 730.
Shadow IT, BYOD, and cloud applications are all helping employees become more productive and connected. But at the same time, they’re also making IT efforts at securing data more difficult. Welcome to hybrid IT—the corporate or employee use of cloud-based apps in combination with onsite tools and technologies.
While the advantages of a hybrid IT environment – using best of breed tools, better data aggregation and analysis, expanding geographic reach, better agility and creativity – are certainly corporate wins, there needs to be a plan for ensuring data is protected. The key is developing a robust cloud and hybrid IT policy.
You can start by asking five questions:
- Which devices will be allowed to access the corporate network and which will not?
- What company data can be accessed and downloaded to the device?
- What apps will be allowed and which will not?
- What type of passwords/logins or authentication protocols will be required?
- What will IT support cover and what will it not?
With the cloud and the application bounty that awaits, we’ve developed an Application Discovery service designed to:
- Simplify application administration
- Reduce support costs
- Prevent employee and resource burnout
- Avoid unplanned or unexpected downtime
- Increase application resiliency
- Minimize and future planning complexity
It’s a three-phase approach to understanding your current application environment and recommending steps and solutions to gaining control of your network perimeter.