Time to Play 'Ali Ali Oxen Free' in the Cloud

Michael Vizard

Just about every organization has people in it using unsanctioned cloud computing services to one degree or another. The challenge for many IT organizations is to first discover who is actually using those services and then decide what actually to do about that.

To aid in the process, the folks at Spiceworks, a provider of IT management tools that are invoked as a service, this week announced at the company's SpiceWorld London conference that version 6.0 of its namesake tools now includes for free the ability to detect cloud services being accessed via a corporate network. According to Nicole Tanzillo, product marketing manager for Spiceworks, the company's management tools can detect usage of everything from Dropbox.com and Mozy to Amazon S3 and LogMeIn.


Tanzillo says that it's up to individual IT organizations to decide what to do once they discover that activity. Some of the more permissive organizations may declare an amnesty period during which they try to aggregate that activity under a single license that would save the organization money, or they may clamp down on the activity in the name of avoiding expensive regulatory fines.

What is pretty clear is that shadow IT activity in the guise of the consumerization of IT is getting out of hand. IT organizations either need to find a way to manage it or crack down on it. To do nothing is to lose control over IT altogether.

Of course, it they do decide to clamp down on it, chances are that all they will wind up doing is driving that activity even further underground. Ultimately, the consumerization of IT is a damned-if-you-do-or-don't situation for the internal IT organization. That may require the setting up of a new compact between IT and end users provided, of course, everyone involved agrees to negotiate in good faith, which by no means is guaranteed to actually occur.

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