Cisco Helps Customers Address Shadow IT Challenge

Do you know which clouds your company’s files are stored on? Did you even know you had a “shadow IT” problem? This sounds like the problem of the 80s and early 90s when forward thinkers brought PCs into the office because IT took so long to provide information or update reports. Or the past five years as people brought in their tablets and smart phones.

In this case, it’s either the Rolling Stones singing, “Hey! You! Get off of my cloud.” Or maybe Joni Mitchell, “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now.”

According to Cisco, over the past year unauthorized use of public cloud services has growth 112 percent with the average large enterprise now using 1,220 individual cloud services.

So, Cisco has developed and released Cloud Consumption as a Service. The software discovers and continually monitors cloud usage across an organization and helps organizations reduce cloud risks and costs. It also delivers detailed analysis and benchmarking that helps the IT team proactively manage cloud usage across the organization.

Employees and business groups are increasingly going around IT to get the cloud services they need to do their job. The phenomenon, dubbed shadow IT, is growing exponentially and becoming a major headache for IT leaders. Recent analysis by Cisco reveals the average large enterprise now uses 1,220 individual cloud services. That’s up to 25 times more than estimated by IT. And the average number of cloud services has grown 112 percent over the past year, and 67 percent over the past six months.

Using the new software-as-a-services product, customers can reduce financial and security exposure by identifying risky cloud services, cloud use anomalies, and compliance issues. They can also cut cloud costs by finding ways to consolidate redundant services. Perhaps most importantly, the ability to discover and monitor cloud usage helps IT team better understand the needs of employees and internal teams. When combined with industry benchmarking, this critical information helps IT teams formulate a more strategic cloud strategy for their organization.

Making Educated Decisions on Cloud Services

CityMD is a fast-growing urgent care organization with 50 facilities across New York City and New Jersey. After using Cloud Consumption, CityMD were surprised to discover employees were using nearly 400 cloud services, with IT only formally supporting 15-20.

“Now that we have full visibility into our cloud usage we can make educated decisions about the services that are right for the business and get a better idea of what risks we may face,” said Robert Florescu, vice president of Information Technology at CityMD. “Our company was founded by ER doctors, so they want cloud services fast. With this information at our fingertips we can partner more effectively with our business groups. We can also proactively ensure we have the appropriate security and compliance measures in place.”

From IT Consultant to Business Consultant

To help Cisco improve the new product a number of Cisco partners participated in an early adopter program. Executives at Aqueduct Technologies and World Wide Technology describe the reaction of customers and the potential impact on their business..

“I recently had a conversation with a VP of IT at one of my larger customers. I was able to show him data in the Cloud Consumption dashboard and he was amazed at services he didn’t realize he was using,” said Chris Jennings, the President and chief strategy officer at Aqueduct Technologies—a regional partner based in Boston, Massachusetts. “We then had the opportunity to help them identify public, private and hybrid solutions that can impact their business. Cloud Consumption gives us the insight to transform our relationship from an IT consultant to a business consultant.”

“We want to empower customers to monitor and manage cloud services,” said Jim Melton, the technical architect of the Cloud Practice at World Wide Technology—a national partner headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. “Cisco Cloud Consumption not only helps with this goal, it also provides insight to help define the next steps in a customer’s cloud journey, and concrete data to build the business case for their cloud initiatives. Cloud Consumption is helping us move from a product-centric conversation to a solutions-oriented, business outcome approach with our customers.”

Price and Availability

The new Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service is now available globally via qualified Cisco channel partners. The new service costs approximately $1-2 dollars per employee per month, depending on the size of the business.

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