Cloud hosting is sometimes heralded as a technological solution that takes the IT department out of the operational equation.
While it is possible to use the cloud without support from IT leaders, the end result is a circumstance that companies would do well to avoid. Cloud plans that are not properly backed by technology employees can lead to the creation of a shadow IT department, a situation in which organizations end up making technology investments without the necessary corporate oversight.
According to a recent TechRepublic report, shadow IT departments can create major fiscal problems for businesses using the cloud.
Understanding the shadow IT problem
Leasing cloud servers and subscribing to applications is incredibly easy. There is no reason why a business manager, customer service representative or other non-technical employee cannot quickly establish a cloud deal and start using an application because he or she thinks it will get the job done effectively. This is precisely why IT oversight is necessary.
The news source explained that shadow IT operations can create numerous problems that can become crippling over time. For example, allowing employees to subscribe to applications without oversight can lead to a company using multiple applications for the same purpose, such as CRM, only to find out that those services are in no way compatible and data is now stuck in silos that cannot be integrated with one another.
The technical implications of these problems are considerable, but the fiscal ones are just as substantial. The report said that cloud fiscal models have created an environment in which anybody with a corporate credit card can purchase a cloud plan that is built on a pay-as-you-go-model. Over time, a wide range of services that have been purchased without corporate or IT oversight can add up fast, leading to skyrocketing expenses that can be crippling to an organization’s budget.
Oversight essential in avoiding shadow IT
The technological, security and fiscal damages created by shadow IT departments developing in business environments can be overwhelming. The solution, in many cases, is to keep IT involved in cloud processes.
When IT departments provide the flexibility and adaptability that employees want with the oversight necessary to protect businesses, the end result is a cloud plan that is not only getting the job done, but aligning technology with corporate goals. As a result, skilled IT employees often play an integral role in cloud plans and should not be forgotten when attempting to embrace the emerging technology.