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The Dangers of Unmanaged Clouds

Cloud computing is becoming pervasive, and IT needs to take control now or risk exposing enterprises to threats and loss of data control. The unchecked spread of unmanaged clouds is a recipe for disaster.

Cloud computing is taking the business world by storm, despite the efforts of those looking to enforce data governance controls and maintain the integrity of IT operations. In many cases, shifting processes, applications and data to the cloud can be a smart business move. However, without due diligence and proper planning, businesses could be opening themselves to previously unforeseen threats.

Nevertheless, the seduction of cloud services proves to be something far too difficult to resist for business units seeking agility and speed, especially when internal IT balks at meeting the apparent needs of a business unit. The contention between internal IT and business units has led to an explosion of unmanaged clouds, which reach across corporate departments and outside of the view of internal IT--a situation that can be summed up as a recipe for disaster.

A recent survey by Forester Research, sponsored by BMC, highlights how pervasive the problem of unmanaged clouds has become. Forester polled 327 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, and discovered some unsettling trends. Forester’s key findings include:

*58% of respondents run mission-critical workloads in unmanaged public clouds, regardless of policy.

*In the next two years, 79% plan to run mission-critical workloads on unmanaged cloud services.

*Nearly three out of four respondents, 71%, thought that IT should be responsible for public cloud services.

*72% of CIOs believe that the business sees cloud computing as a way to circumvent IT.

Brian Singer says his company commissioned the survey in an effort to confirm what BMC was hearing anecdotally from customers. "Cloud and software as a service (SaaS) are in enterprises in a big way," he notes, "and we wanted to see how IT was dealing with them."

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