Moving to help IT organizations get a better handle on shadow IT in the enterprise, Cisco today unfurled a new service that analyzes log data to determine exactly what cloud services are being consumed by whom inside any organization.
Bob Dimicco, senior director of advanced services for Cisco, says the Cisco Cloud Consumption as Service offering works by having IT organizations upload log files into an analytics engine in the cloud that Cisco has developed from the ground up. The idea is to then give internal IT organizations irrefutable proof as to what cloud services are being consumed inside the organization.
Right now, Cisco projects that the average enterprise now uses 1,220 individual cloud services, which may be as much as 25 times more than the internal IT organization often estimates. Cisco says the average number of cloud services has grown 112 percent over the past year, and 67 percent over the past six months.
The challenge that IT organizations face, says Dimicco, is that line-of-business executives are often in denial about how much these cloud services are being used inside their organization. Priced at one to two dollars per month per employee, Dimicco says the goal is to ultimately help internal IT organizations retain control over both compliance and influence over the total amount of money being spent on IT inside any organization.
Of course, shadow IT often cuts both ways. Some IT organizations prefer to turn a blind eye to usage of cloud services that would otherwise require them to allocate limited IT budget dollars to support. At the same time, many IT leaders would at least like to be well informed as to the extent that shadow IT services in the cloud are actually being consumed. Regardless of the stance taken toward shadow IT services, however, it’s almost always in the best interests of the internal IT organization to be prepared for the sudden emergence of a rogue IT service that competes with something they already internally provide.