Shadow IT and hybrid cloud

A recent Global CIO survey by Brocade found that 83 percent of CIOs believe procurement of cloud services without IT engagement will increase. This procurement, otherwise known as Shadow IT, continues to grow as organizations reach for a hybrid cloud solution. But even though hybrid cloud has been one cause of Shadow IT (among many), it can also be a solution.

If you have Shadow IT within your organization (and most organizations do), then you technically already have a hybrid cloud solution—it’s just not one you control. There are multiple security and compliance risks associated with Shadow IT, so how can you turn this around to your benefit and seize control?

Take back control

Perhaps the biggest impact of Shadow IT is your increased bill. With Lines of Business (LOBs) buying cloud services whenever they need, it’s almost guaranteed that your spend will go up, and lead to cloud waste. If you want to seize control of your environment, look for a platform that will keep track of your invoices and provide you with a single bill for all of your cloud spends. This will give you the visibility that you need to maintain control over shadow IT in your hybrid environment. Once you understand how your resources are being consumed, you can allocate them to departments more efficiently.

Security and compliance in a hybrid environment

Then there’s also security and compliance requirements to consider. With more data connections being brought in from sources outside your network, the risk for failing compliance audits goes up. You’ll have multiple applications, databases and servers to secure in a hybrid environment, each with their own set of security and compliance requirements. You’ll want to ensure these sets connect with each other in a secure, compliant way. Once you’ve allocated your resources in the most cost-effective manner, if you can automate that process, you can ensure your deployments automatically meet your specific compliance needs. If necessary, train your department managers on the importance of compliance and security to gain a company culture that understands the significance of data protection.

It’s also important to work together with your individual departments so you can better understand their needs and find out why they bypassed you in the first place. An important part of this is developing a strong communication process and a flexible attitude towards deployments that happen without your knowledge.

Remember, if you are experiencing Shadow IT, you’re already running a kind of hybrid cloud environment. The key is to take control of it. Visibility into what and where your spend is provides many benefits: You can eliminate friction between departments, gain a better understanding of your LOB needs, and better allocate resources. It’s important to work with your other lines of business to deliver what they need, and do so in a secure, compliant manner. Look for a cloud service provider who can give you a single bill to keep track of your expenses, and has secure, compliant services that match what your company requires so you can pass your regulatory audits.