Cisco has offered cloud consumption as a service solution to Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who are struggling to deal with Shadow IT. The hardware, software or web service installed within an enterprise and that is not supported by organization’s central IT department is termed as “Shadow IT”. In simple terms, it means the resources which are being used by enterprise employees which are not approved by the IT department’s knowledge or endorsement.
As the term’s usage has broadened a bit in recent years, it also means the use of personal technology that employees are using at work or niche technology that meets the unique needs of a particular business division and is supported by a third party service provider, instead by the corporate IT.
Shadow IT can introduces security risks when unsupported hardware or software are not subjected to the same security measures that are applied to supported technologies.
All those technologies which are not on the radar of corporate IT can affect usage experience of other employees such as impacting their bandwidth usage, creating network or software application protocols and compliance issues.
Sometimes, Shadow IT can turn into a serious issue, when users start using free cloud storage platforms such as Google Drive instead of the recommended platform by corporate IT. This also includes the practice of users signing in with their personal email addresses or reusing corporate log-in credentials.
For this reason, Cisco -the world renowned networking vendor has rolled out its Cloud Consumption as a Service Offering, which is designed to enable partners and end users to discover and monitor the use of public clouds across an entire organization to help reduce risks by their usage. The service includes analytics and benchmarking capabilities that give CIOs and IT departments a broader insight into the extent of shadow IT in their organizations.
According to a recent survey conducted by CISCO, an average enterprise uses 1,220 individual public cloud services which is 25 times more than what IT departments’ guestimate. This seriously issues us a warning that customers are facing an explosion of cloud use.
Cisco’s Cloud Consumption as a Service offering is aimed at helping CIOs keep a track of sprawling use of public cloud services by giving them a visibility and insight into what services are being used and what they can do to rein them in.
In simple terms the new Cisco service helps organizations discover and monitor which cloud services are being used across the organization. By doing so, customers can mitigate cloud risks, uncover redundant services to reduce costs, and compare providers and benchmark usage. The insight gained can help partners improve relevance in cloud and uncover future sales opportunity.
The service is available through Cisco’s official channel partners on an immediate note and is priced at $1 and $2 per employee per month.
Cisco’s Cloud Consumption as a service is also available on a free 30 day trial.
If you think that this is the only company which is offering such services, then you are mistaken.
In September 2015, IBM already introduced to the corporate IT world the service called “Cloud Security Enforcer” which offers greater visibility into all 3rd party cloud apps being used by employees and provides a secure way to access them. It also helps enterprise IT personnel to take control of what is being shared on the applications.