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Get Ready For Rogue Clouds

We're on the inevitable path toward "rogue cloud computing" inside companies. Is this a problem?

We're on the inevitable path toward "rogue cloud computing" inside companies. Is this a problem?When people can get started using cloud computing services with just a user ID and a credit card, there's no doubt people in some companies will tap those resources without the support or blessing (or security or compliance testing or ...) of the central IT team.

It's with this backdrop that we offer our How-To Guide To Cloud Computing. It's driven by the premise that cloud computing is like a lot of emerging technologies we've seen where, as John Foley writes, "ease of adoption translates into unforeseen management challenges.":

Virtualization resulted in virtual machine sprawl; smartphones ushered in new security risks; instant messaging raised corporate governance concerns. The purpose of this report is to show IT managers how to maximize the benefits of cloud computing -- including ease of use, flexibility, and lower costs -- while minimizing the risks.

How will CIOs deal with rogue cloud computing?

A wise business technology leader told us once that he treats every rogue Web application an employee brings in as a warning flag that the IT team isn't meeting a need in some way, and isn't communicating the value it brings in being part of the process. To be ready for the inevitable demands, IT teams need to start now preparing to make cloud resources part of their architecture.

Another CIO told us earlier this year that he might have to accept a certain level of rogue IT, since cuts in the IT team might mean they can't get to all the demands the business has.

Cloud computing will be a report card for IT departments' relationships with the business units. If those ties are strong, business units will bring IT in to help them tap the cloud. If they're weak, count on clouds to sprout around the company much like unauthorized wireless access points did in the not-so-distant-past.

Will rogue clouds be a problem? Share your opinion, and your tips for heading it off.

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