IT Administrators Are Growing Concerned About Renegade Cloud Deployments

by Sam Dean - Sep. 30, 2011Comments (1)

Does the cloud invite users in enterprises and organizations to adopt unapproved applications without the oversight of IT administrators? That issue is making the rounds in the wake of concerns expressed by U.K. IT administrators who say that users at departmental levels are already demonstrating rogue practices. According to IT Pro: "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." This problem won't go away, and mirrors the departmental actions that helped drive the rise of both personal computers and local area networks long ago.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, many IT administrators lamented the fact that emerging local area networking solutions such as Novell's Netware and even simpler solutions such as LAN in a Can allowed departments who wanted networking services to create deployments without any involvement from IT. The concerns from IT departments hardly stopped the trend.

A study done by Opsview has raised the same kinds of concerns about cloud services and applications. As Business Cloud News reports:

"Over half (54%) of organisations were unsure of how many cloud-based services their employees were using, underlining the lack of visibility cloud computing can create for some business operations."

It's very easy, for example, for departments to standardize on use of Google Apps or any number of cloud-based applications without the approval of IT. The question is: Is this a worrisome trend?

In all likelihood, it's good for computing overall. Just as the rise of personal computers and local area networks allowed departments and individuals within organizations to create their own custom technology deployments, cloud services and applications will encourage department-level workers to customize what they do. In the process, these workers become tech-savvy by requirement and often end up with useful tools that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.

The concerns from IT are understandable, with everything from security issues to lack of documentation driving the worrying, but the net positives outweigh the negatives. As we've reported many times, open source cloud computing solutions are maturing very quickly, and will be at the center of debates between IT and departmental level workers. Many of these solutions are designed for flexibility and ease-of-deployment in such ways as to make it simple for individuals to simply reach for tools that they want to use without the burden of obtaining IT approval.


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