CIOs concerned about cloud sprawl

cloud computing

More than two thirds of IT directors are worried about cloud sprawl, with 54 per cent unsure of how many cloud-based services their employees are actually using.

So claims research by Vanson Bourne - commissioned by IT monitoring firm Opsview - which canvassed opinion from those working in UK-based midsized and large enterprises.

James Peel, product manager at Opsview, told IT Pro's sister title Cloud Pro the speed and ease of deployment of cloud services on an ad hoc, unchecked basis by individual business units and the fact that staff are purchasing services without the involvement of the IT department led to governance concerns and a lack of visibility.

"IT departments want to offer business units more autonomy in taking advantage of cloud services, but they also want to work with them to manage cost, monitoring, security and governance," he said.

Another issue the report highlighted is how attempts to gain better control over IT are being hampered by employees not adhering to IT policies. Of the 200 IT directors surveyed, 76 per cent admitted that employees were likely to flout IT policies in order to make use of cloud services.

Peel added that the findings underline that businesses cannot be sure whether cloud service providers are meeting agreed service level agreements (SLAs). In response, three quarters (75 per cent) said they would like more information or metrics to ensure cloud service providers are meeting SLAs.

"Looking at the visibility that IT has throughout the enterprise today, the landscape is only getting more complicated and cloud isn't helping that," he said. The number of cloud services being consumed is increasing in relation to IT headcount and governance capabilities.

Therefore, Peel said the IT department should look to work more closely with cloud services owners across the business. He added that a way of supporting closer cooperation would be to introduce more flexible automation tools able to adapt and track dynamic cloud environments.

"The business may connect to cloud services via a number of APIs [application programming interfaces], where IT can extend its monitoring systems into the cloud environment to centralise API security and access control, for instance," he said.

Another recent survey suggested enterprises were still wary about committing to cloud, as IT managers expressed concerns about a lack of troubleshooting capabilities.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.