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Techies! Shadow IT means you need to up your game

Employees are not rebelling, they just want things done

Shadow IT is not the result of “rogue employees looking to rebel” the research firm Frost and Sullivan has declared in a review of the hybrid cloud market.

However, IT chiefs can take little comfort from the report as it goes on to explain that lines of business’s installation and use of unauthorised applications is overwhelmingly due to tech departments' inability to serve up the technology that users actually need.

F&S’s report The New Hybrid Cloud is based on a survey by the firm show that “49 per cent [of employees] are more familiar and comfortable with the unapproved application, so using it helps them get their job done more quickly and easily”.

Another 38 per cent of line of business employees fingered “slow or cumbersome IT approval processes for the needed service”, with almost a quarter stating “the unauthorised app met needs better than IT’s alternative.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the title of the IBM-sponsored report, Frost and Sullivan said the latest generation of hybrid cloud technology left IT departments better tooled up to face down these challenges.

By developing “robust service catalogues” based on “pre-defined IT administrative approval” lines of business could have greater autonomy over the services they use while IT maintains a grip on the security and compliance issues that given them nightmares over shadow IT.

At the same time, dynamic hybrid models, that give lines of business more autonomy, could also free-up IT staff to be more innovative, and to develop services at scale. Services, that is, that the lines of business actually want.

According to F&S, 2014 had been a tipping point in the adoption of hybrid cloud, with 46 per cent of cloud using businesses using some form of hybridisation.

Interestingly, It was the smallest and largest companies that faced the biggest challenges of integrating multiple clouds, with 29 per cent of firms with 1000 of more employees citing it as a top three challenge, and 30 per cent of firms with under 100 employees.

But it’s the onset of “robust orchestration”, a more dynamic offering, and open standards - particularly OpenStack - that F&S cites as key to the next generation of cloud. And when it comes to these attributes, says F&S, “Only a few providers” deliver the full package combining these with deep software and analytics expertise and hardcore infrastructure. ®

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