Guest Post: How to Regain Control Over the “Shadow IT” in Your Environment

Do you need to regain control of shadow IT in your environment? The use of cloud services is growing, and according to a recent Cisco/Intel Study, “The Impact of Cloud on IT Consumption Models,” the cloud occupies 23% of IT spend with respondents estimating that number will grow to 27% by 2016. Recent analyst reports also suggest that of the total cloud spend, Software-as-a-Service (Saas) alone could capture greater than half within the next few years.

shadow ITThese numbers are not surprising, considering growing demand from workers for the latest and greatest technologies and applications, that will enable them to do their jobs with greater ease, efficiency and flexibility than is possible using traditional computing tools and applications. Yet, as anyone working in IT can attest to, not everyone goes through the proper channels when it comes to procuring cloud services. This trend, often referred to as “shadow IT” is creating problems for IT organizations of all sizes as it makes it difficult to gain visibility into their entire infrastructure operations.


The fact is, the most tech-savvy employees figured out years ago how to get their hands on the applications they want and need – without IT’s blessing. With quick and easy access to public clouds, analytics, development, and collaboration tools via the Internet, it’s no wonder workers are purchasing and provisioning virtual machines (VMs) on public clouds, downloading apps, or even building their own apps using cloud-based tools, and deploying them on the cloud, with a simple click of a button.

As a result, many IT organizations are still in the dark about how many cloud apps they have running on their system. And, according NetSkope’s 2014 Cloud Report those numbers are on the rise with the average number of cloud apps per enterprise going from 397 in January 2014 to a whopping 579 in October 2014.


If You’ve Lost Control, You Are Not Alone

The effects of shadow IT are well-documented in the enterprise with recent research reports and industry surveys estimating that IT has effectively lost control of between 35% and 50% of the enterprise IT spend, with marketing, sales, accounting, HR and other departments regularly purchasing cloud services directly from cloud services providers – and completely bypassing the IT department during the purchasing process.

Yet, when major outages happen, or when these systems go down or troubleshooting is required, you know as an IT professional that your department will be called on to respond and mitigate for any system failures.

So what’s the fix? The first step is to find a way to regain control, not just over the spending, but how clouds and applications are provisioned and managed. This way, lines of accountability are made very clear.

One of the ways to do this is through by automating IT operations via a centralized dashboard. By having a single pane of glass view into your organizations entire IT operations, your team will be aware of where cloud VMs are being spun up, where applications are being used, who is using them, how much is being used, and how they are performing. This, in turn, will put IT back in the drivers seat and help eliminate the threat that your users’ “shadow IT” purchases are having on the business.


To learn more about how GreenPages can help you with automating your IT operations, watch this short video on our Cloud Management as a Service Infrastructure Operations offering


By Chris Joseph, VP, Product Management & Marketing, NetEnrich, Inc.