Users flock to the newest cloud app, bypassing administrators and spreading shadow IT rapidly. How does it happen? What can you do about it? We’ll show you in this post.
First, let’s look at the effects of the SaaS stampede over the last few years.
“Dire” or “upheaval” may sound like alarmist words, but we’re experiencing a massive shift in IT budgets, spending, and oversight:
Cisco reported that large enterprises use over 1,200 cloud services on average, and fewer than 50 of those cloud services are known by IT.
CIOs guessed that, on average, their companies have 51 cloud services, but actually had 15-22 times that amount.
Gartner found that shadow IT is 30-40% of IT spend; Everest group says it’s 50% or more.
If you work in IT management at any level, you likely have this struggle: I want to be proactive, but others would rather sit by until something bad happens. When it comes to SaaS sprawl, something bad has happened, you just can’t see it. In fact, not seeing it is the bad thing! That realization should jump-start you getting in front of this before something worse happens.
So how did we get here?
The SaaS Stampede Cycle – How SaaS Spreads In Organizations
Cloud apps bypass normal compliance and budgetary rules. Think of Slack, basically the poster-child of shadow IT.
A sure recipe for SaaS Sprawl
Whether it’s oversight, costs, or security concerns, this cycle creates an environment that makes IT, and the company, vulnerable.
Do You Have A Shadow IT Problem?
Statistically, yes. The issue is so prevalent, IT management can no longer safely claim they “don’t know what they don’t know.” You can bet that at some point, a budget or security issue will develop, and someone will hold IT responsible.
Increasingly, this is no longer an effective technique to deal with Shadow IT
What Can IT Management Do? Discover and Govern
Any effective project to manage cloud applications should have at least three goals, increasing in complexity:
- Discovery and Visibility – see what apps are out there and who is using them.
- Cost Management – Along with that visibility, there should be an evaluation of the costs associated with these users.
- Governance – Use the information available to take action and ensure compliance.
Alpin gives IT departments the tools to automate discovery, cost management, and governance. Try Alpin with a couple clicks if you’re interested. Or you could take the manual approach:
- Meet with all departments and inventory every single app in use.
- Store what you find in a spreadsheet – we even have a template you can use!
- Maintain the list.
However, there are a few things you may miss out on if you go the spreadsheet route:
- Automation – Is managing SaaS really worth a big chunk of a skilled employee’s expensive time? Didn’t think so… Alpin discovers your cloud app ecosystem in seconds, not hours or days.
- App Utilization – The manual approach doesn’t show if people have not logged in recently. So when a department says “my team loves this, we need it!” you don’t have to completely take their word for it. Alpin gives you that visibility.
- Activity – Alpin shows what users are doing with some apps. For example, you can see who is publicly sharing sensitive files or folders.
Bottom Line: Be The Hero By Getting In Front Of The Stampede
Users are going to add SaaS apps, with or without your knowledge or assistance. You can take easy steps to partner with them, by automatically seeing what they do, and guiding them to smart solutions like centralized bulk contracts, and keeping on top of renewals. Turn an organizational weakness into a strength. Be the hero!
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