Cloud services brought a significant paradigm shift in how organizations operate, with vast improvements in operational efficiency, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. However, improper procurement, deployment, and management of these resources will lead to wasted expenditure and potential for data breaches.
Shadow IT refers to the unsanctioned use of technology and IT systems within a company, typically driven by various business units independently of the IT department. Many cloud services can be activated in minutes, and unauthorized use is high. Although it can foster innovation and rapid problem-solving, the downside is the increased risk of security breaches, regulations non-compliance, and cost inefficiency.
The risk of unauthorized or poorly deployed cloud services isn't always a catastrophic data breach but rather the quiet bleeding of financial resources. Large and small companies have found themselves wasting a significant portion of their budget on cloud services that either go unused or aren't utilized to their full potential.
A primary issue revolves around unused cloud services - an unfortunate result of an uncoordinated approach to IT procurement. It's not uncommon for individual departments to subscribe to the same cloud service independently, leading to duplicate expenditures. In addition, many services are under-utilized, with companies paying for capacities and features that aren't needed or used.
The financial implications are obvious, but there are hidden dangers too. These unmanaged services can create security vulnerabilities and compliance issues, often unknown to the company until it's too late. The divergence of IT assets from a centralized, managed approach also makes it challenging for companies to comprehensively understand their digital estate, leading to further inefficiencies and risks.
Managing and reducing this wastage requires a multi-pronged approach. A solid start is adopting an enterprise-wide strategy for IT procurement, involving Busch Data or your qualified managed service provider in all technology decisions. A cloud governance model should enforce rules around cloud services' procurement, usage, and decommissioning. An outright ban should be placed on employees activating a trial or signing up for cloud services without authorization.
In this digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in every aspect of a business. However, companies must manage these resources effectively to avoid hidden pitfalls. Give your employees the necessary tools but ensure IT is in the loop!