As cloud computing knowledge expands outside the walls of the IT department, empowered employees are changing workplace dynamics. According to the latest research from Forrester Consulting, a growing rift between business and IT stakeholders could be to blame for emerging security concerns.
In a survey of more than 300 global business executives, Forrester analysts discovered that public cloud services are becoming a point of contention within a number of organizations. As more case studies chronicling fast migrations and strong returns on investment come to light, business-side expectations for the cloud are shooting through the roof. Unfortunately, the diligence and best practices preferred by IT teams do not always align with executive timetables.
When this conflict occurs, an increasing proportion of empowered employees are making the autonomous decision to procure their own services and applications in the public cloud. Six in 10 survey respondents indicated that workers in their organizations are running mission-critical workloads in unmanaged environments, often in direct opposition to company policy. As consumerization continues to gain traction, 79 percent of IT professionals indicated that they will have to contend with – and likely support – this practice in the next two years.
While seven in 10 respondents suggested that IT should be directly responsible for vetting and procuring public cloud services, approximately two-thirds conceded that it would be difficult to maintain performance levels that live up to employee expectations.
"This survey has helped us to pinpoint the pains felt by both the business and IT as they struggle to adapt IT strategies to the avalanche of public cloud consumption," explained BMC Software executive and study sponsor Mark Settle. "The conclusion is that the need for a comprehensive, unified environment is becoming a top priority for business to connect everything – from the mainframe to the cloud."
Not surprisingly, hybrid cloud environments were highlighted as a top priority among responding IT professionals, as they look to balance the seemingly competing priorities of data protection and seamless performance. But with public cloud resources becoming a staple in the enterprise IT landscape, administrators would be wise to revisit their approach to vendor relations.
According to Wired columnist Todd Nielsen, cloud security accountability will ultimately reside in the hands of the company that owns the data. As a result, IT decision-makers must choose their partners wisely. Just as business-side employees are expected to abide by technology team policy, IT staffers are expected to do their job as well and ask the tough questions when designing cloud service level agreements.
Cloud Computing News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro