Cisco Tackles Scourge of Shadow IT with New Monitoring Tools
The proliferation of shadow IT, the use of unauthorized applications by employees, has been one of the biggest challenges facing enterprise IT departments. To address the issue, Cisco is launching a new service today that aims to track the use of cloud applications by employees.
Typically, companies have sought to limit the problem with strict controls on the applications that staff members can install on their machines. But many employees are now circumventing those controls by turning to applications that run in the cloud. That can present significant risks to corporations dealing with regulatory compliance or data protection issues.
Tracking Shadow IT Services
The new service, dubbed Cloud Consumption as a Service, will allow organizations to discover and continually monitor public cloud use across the enterprise. The new product should help bolster the company’s presence in cloud service offerings.
Cloud shadow IT can include everything from using Google Mail to Dropbox, a file hosting and cloud storage service. Not only can it present problems for companies handling sensitive information, it can also leave corporate networks at risk from viruses and hackers. Other issues, such as business continuity, cost, and service performance can also loom large for IT departments.
According to the company, shadow IT is rampant. While CIOs may have known that business groups were circumventing IT departments to access public cloud services, it’s only recently that they’ve begun to realize the full extent of the cloud sprawl across their organizations and the pitfalls for their businesses.
Managers Underestimating Shadow IT Problem
A new study by the Cisco illustrated the extent of the shadow IT problem. The average large enterprise now uses 1,220 individual public cloud services, according to the company. That’s up to 25 times more services than the number estimated by IT managers. Additionally, the average number of public cloud services has grown 112 percent over the past year, and 67 percent over the past six months, Cisco said.
“When combined with detailed analytics and benchmarking from Cisco, this insight helps businesses reduce security risks and better understand and manage costs,” the company said in a statement. “This helps IT teams to partner more effectively with business groups and make educated decisions about the right cloud services for the business.”
To help launch its product, Cisco is offering clients a 30-day free trial of the service, which is priced at approximately $1 to $2 dollars per employee per month, depending on the size of the business.