Cisco’s new report reveals dramatic growth in the use of unsanctioned or ‘Shadow’ IT within the enterprise, with a nearly 70% increase in nearly six months. While the finding may have some bias since it is part of a promotional effort for a new service from Cisco that helps companies monitor cloud usage, the trend is undeniable. Employees are increasing their use of unofficial IT at an alarming rate.
This finding comes from log files created by companies’ networking and security hardware as well as Dun & Bradstreet data that track bill payment for services. The range of cloud services available is enormous and it keeps growing. Unsanctioned cloud services may include:
- Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube
- Music and entertainment sites
- Web-based email
- Word processing
- Data-storage services such as Dropbox
- Polling tools such as Survey Monkey, and other popular consumer side offerings.
Sensitive corporate and client data may end up stored on external facilities, but this violates many corporate policies and government regulations that restrict data storage to facilities managed by a company. There is also some risk that employees will become dependent on cloud companies that suddenly cease operations because they don’t have financial resources to sustain their business. In some cases, these hosting firms may not have the capabilities to scale for complex enterprise needs or waste money on unnecessary or redundant services. Finally, volume discounts may be forfeited because there is no effort made to centrally manage purchases.
Runaway use of these unsanctioned services also impact expenses for fixed and mobile services as they may not be optimized to reduce bandwidth consumption. Additionally, hackers may infiltrate the network and misuse it in ways that add waste with unnecessary data consumption or long distance expenses.
Telecom managers need to educate employees regarding the risks. In addition, they need to partner with Human Resources and IT security professionals to reduce use of official and Shadow IT. This is an opportunity for telecom managers to progress from just focusing on cost saving to value creation. Telecom is right in the center of this new area, and telecom managers should seize this as an opportunity to elevate their role in the enterprise.Tags: Telecom Expense Management