The cumulonimbus of data: survey reveals dangers of cloud sprawl

With all the present fervour surrounding cloud services, perhaps it is high time that someone reared a cautionary head above the excited masses.

A survey commissioned by business technology and managed services provider Avanade has done just that. The data shows the disruption that the unregulated cloud can cause.

According to the report, 61 per cent of IT department heads globally (52% in the UK) said that cloud sprawl was causing inefficiencies in their business, the number rising to 71 per cent among those using both public and private clouds. 66 per cent globally also said how employees are signing up for cloud services other than those provided by the IT department.

Mark Corley, chief technology officer at Avanade UK, said, "Whilst the cloud can deliver significant benefits, some of its advantages also introduce risk."

"Unmanaged cloud sprawl in Shadow IT (Dark Cloud) is introducing risk with threats from unmanaged sources. Cloud services are becoming available in increasing variety and ease of access, and many IT departments simply can't keep up."

Avanade, with the help of Accenture, has conveniently built a platform to help customers manage their cloud services, called the Avanade Cloud Services Manager. Building on top of Microsoft System Center 2012, it provides a single portal to organise and manage IT services across private clouds.

Corley also added, "Companies must look to exploit the advantages of the cloud, keeping pace with business needs, offering the agility, cost-savings, scale and different business models that cloud can offer - but at the same time strike a balance by having the appropriate level of control giving an acceptable risk."

750 IT decision makers from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, France, Sweden, Brazil, Japan and Australia were surveyed by the study, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Avanade.