Independent research commissioned by Opsview, the open source IT monitoring software provider, has revealed that 67% of UK organisations are concerned about the growing threat of cloud sprawl as cloud-based services become more popular across the enterprise. This is due to the speed and ease of deployment and the fact that staff can purchase services without the involvement of the IT department. With this in mind 57% of IT directors admitted to being concerned that as paid for cloud services start to be more widely used by employees, costs could spiral out of control.
The research also showed that over half (54%) of organisations are unsure of how many cloud-based services their employees are using. This admission highlights that many organisations are lacking complete visibility of the IT landscape which is being used to underpin business operations.
“Cloud services are incredibly easy to access and can provide multiple benefits to individual users. However, by not controlling the adoption of cloud services, businesses risk spiralling costs,” commented James Peel, product manager at Opsview. “For example, businesses could be hit with unexpected costs as non-IT staff simply pay for services via their credit card before charging it back to the business. Ultimately unless the IT department has visibility into the cloud services being used by employees it is very difficult to keep track of what is being spent at any one time, since users are not going through traditional IT procurement channels.”
Another issue highlighted in the report is that attempts to gain better control over IT are being hampered by employees not adhering to IT policies. Of those companies surveyed, the vast majority (76%) admit employees are likely to flout IT policies in order to make use of cloud services.
The research also underlines that businesses are unsure whether cloud service providers are satisfying their Service Level Agreements (SLAs). If external service providers are not meeting service levels, this could impact on IT performance and ultimately the end-user experience. As such, three quarters (75%) of organisations said they would like more information or metrics to ensure cloud service providers are meeting the agreed service levels.
“Before cloud, the scope of IT monitoring was a well understood process mostly confined to the internal systems of the business,” explained Peel. “Now, monitoring is not just about looking at the business’ internal IT, it also needs to take into account the various external providers involved. Businesses need to gain greater visibility of cloud-based services by using tools that provide a unified view of what is being used across the business. They also need to ensure they have a view of real-time performance and that the tools being used provide service level reporting. If the service provider is not meeting SLAs or the user experience is poor, organisations will be in a better position to renegotiate terms with that provider. Similarly, this type of monitoring can benefit managed service providers themselves by helping them prove they are hitting the agreed service levels. In fact, businesses will soon start demanding this information from their cloud service providers.
By taking this kind of control over IT, businesses can benefit from cloud-based services rather than see them as a management headache.”
The survey of 200 IT directors at UK organisations with more than 1,000 employees was commissioned by Opsview and conducted by independent research company Vanson Bourne.
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