Business units are creating silos by bypassing IT and using public cloud services. Here's how CIOs can create order.
The bottom line: smoothing out the silos The success or failure of your cloud strategy will depend largely on having the right balance between oversight and control. Cloud silos are so easy to set up that they tend to expand at a rapid pace. The goal of IT management is to find ways to accept the inevitable but provide the guidance and tools to break down the silos. There are some pragmatic ways to do that:
Focus first on automation of routine functions and policies. Cloud services will become the way new users gain access to the services they need. Cloud management services backed by service automation will help keep users satisfied and make sure that users have the right level of security and that critical data is protected.
Become the gateway to partner with the business. Business units that want to move fast to establish new services will work collaboratively with IT when IT offers the most practical and cost-effective solution. If IT can manage which services are used based on need, silos become less of a problem.
Begin to deliberately map out well-designed cloud services that will address business needs.
As IT begins to understand both the pitfalls and benefits of cloud services and the new silos they're going to create, IT organizations can become agents of change. The new silos, like the old, are simply a symptom of the ever-changing technology landscape and the need to compete.
Want to relegate cloud software to edge apps or smaller businesses? No way. Also in the new, all-digital Cloud Software: Where Next? special issue of InformationWeek: The tech industry is rife with over-the-top, groundless predictions and estimates. (Free registration required.)
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.